Albert Pujols hit his first home run as a Dodger and Will Smith delivered in the clutch twice, as the Dodgers got the sweep over the D-Backs with a 3-2 victory.
The Dodgers jumped on the board first thanks to a two-run home run from.... Albert Pujols? Yup. The Machine hit his first home run in Dodger blue, the 668th of his Hall-of-Fame career. Pujols now has an RBI or hit in all four games he’s appeared in for the Dodgers so far.
For something even cooler, Pujols brought in Will Smith with the home run. If you recall, Pujols was the player who congratulated Smith at the Dodgers’ ring ceremony earlier in the season. Growing up, Pujols was his favorite player. Now, he’s coming in to score on a homer from him. Pretty freaking cool.
The bullpen did what needed to be done. David Price made his first major-league start since September of 2019. He gave the Dodgers two scoreless innings. Over Price’s last seven outings, he’s allowed one run in seven innings with 11 strikeouts. Aside from his opening outings to begin the season, he’s been great for the Dodgers.
Speaking of being great for the Dodgers with the exception of his first few outings, insert Jimmy Nelson. He threw two scoreless innings and struck out five. Like Price, Nelson has thrived in his new bullpen role.
Joe Kelly pitched the sixth inning and was one strike away from a scoreless inning. On a 1-2 pitch, Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer to tie the game. The game would be tied, until the bottom of the seventh when Will Smith stepped up to the plate.
On the first pitch he saw, he launched this one into the stands to give the Dodgers the lead.
Smith made a huge impact again an inning later behind the plate, this time with his arm. With two outs, the D-Backs brought in Tim Locastro to pinch-run, representing the tying run. Having yet to be thrown out once in his career, Smith threw out Locastro to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen got the ninth for LA. It was his third game in four nights and his second consecutive game he’s pitched in. Well, that didn’t seem to bother him. He threw a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts for his 10th save of the season. Oh, and he touched 97 mph. Yeah, sh*t you love to see.
The Dodgers now are eight games above .500, and will enter this three-game series with the Giants two games back of first place.
WP: Victor Gonzalez (1-0) 1 1⁄3 IP, 0 ER, 3 SO
LP: Merrill Kelly (2-5) 7 IP, 3 ER, 12 SO
SV: Kenley Jansen (10) 1 IP, 0 ER, 2 SO
HR: Albert Pujols (6) Will Smith (5) Eduardo Escobar (11)