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Dodgers notes: Mookie Betts Home Run Derby, Freddie Freeman’s 2,000th hits

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Mookie Betts hit two home runs over the weekend, and now leads the Dodgers with 19 homers on the season, eight of which have been hit leading off a game.

Betts already said that if he makes the All-Star team — which he almost certainly will on Thursday when the starters are announced — that he would take part in the Home Run Derby for the first time in his career.

“It’s the last thing I haven’t done,” Betts told told Juan Toribio at MLB.com last week. “My wife kind of compared it to [NBA superstar LeBron James] not doing the dunk contest. And that’s not a knock or anything, but she just feels like for what I’m trying to do in baseball, bring awareness to Black culture, I should probably be more involved.”

The last Dodgers hitter in the Home Run Derby was Joc Pederson in 2019. He lost in an epic second-round duel with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in Cleveland.

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Freddie Freeman got his 2,000th career hit on Sunday, and after the game reflected on the achievement. From Alden González at ESPN:

“Hits mean a lot to me,” he said. “Everyone views success differently in their careers, and how they go about it, but hits and average, that is what I care about. If I have a lot of hits, and I have a good average, that means I’m getting on base a lot for my team and we’re able to score a lot of runs.”

With third baseman Max Muncy due back from the injured list on Tuesday in Colorado, Michael Busch might see some time at second base, given how Miguel Vargas has struggled lately with two hits in his last 42 at-bats. From Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times, Dave Roberts said, “I think for me, I think it’s just kind of assessing each day and trying to figure out which kind of dynamic helps us win that day. It is comforting knowing that Michael can play second base, and being left-handed there might be some opportunity there, yeah.”

Bobby Miller was a little too fastball reliant on Saturday, and probably got rattled a little bit on the bunt by Jose Altuve that loaded the bases. Reaction from Saturday postgame at Miller’s second straight shaky start after an early string of success, from Jim Alexander at the Orange County Register.

Jon Weisman at his Slayed by Voices Newsletter interviewed Ken Gurnick about co-authoring Ron Cey’s autobiography ‘Penguin Power.

Over the weekend, Josh Thomas at Dodgers Digest took a closer look at the Dominican Summer League, where he called infielder Elias Medina, who signed this January, “the baby Justin Turner doppelganger.”