Dodgers 11, Padres 2
Led by Mookie Betts hitting three homers in a game for a record-tying sixth time in his career, the Los Angeles Dodgers broke out of their offensive slump with a power display.
They launched a season-high six long balls Thursday night during a rout of San Diego.
Betts' latest three-homer game matched the major league mark shared by Sammy Sosa and Hall of Famer Johnny Mize. Betts accomplished the feat in 813 career games, while Sosa needed 2,364 and Mize did it in 1,884.
“I just think it’s pretty cool, but it’s not as important as the rings,” Betts said.
The star outfielder went 4 for 4 with five RBIs and was hit by a pitch in the leadoff spot, where manager Dave Roberts has been reluctant to lock him in.
However, with Corey Seager back in the lineup after injury, Roberts turned to Betts at the top.
“I’ve been doing it my whole life, so I think I’m just comfortable there,” Betts said. “It’s just one of those things where you only lead off once, but I enjoy getting things started and creating havoc on the basepaths.”
Betts has mostly batted second in this pandemic-shortened season. The 2018 AL MVP said when he was acquired from Boston in a blockbuster trade last offseason that he thought he’d be hitting leadoff with his new team.
“I’m definitely here to do whatever is best for the team,” said Betts, who talked to Roberts again recently about the leadoff spot. “I think he’s just trying to find a comfort in the lineup in general.”
Roberts knew the kind of special player the Dodgers landed in Betts, although the 5-foot-9 right fielder has surprised him in one way.
“I know he hits homers," the manager said, "but it’s more power than I expected.”
With a chance to tie the big league mark of four home runs in one game, Betts reached on an infield single in the seventh.
When Betts wasn't chasing down balls in the outfield or rocketing them into the empty stands, he was on the bench talking hitting with his teammates.
“He's just very unselfish,” Roberts said.
The National League's top two home run-hitting teams split the four-game series, with the Dodgers outscoring the Padres 17-2 over the last two.
“We wanted to win this series,” San Diego starter Chris Paddack said. “I just felt I can do a better job of, I keep saying it, but one of those things is to eliminate the damage. But it just kept going and going and going. Overall tough, tough loss.”
Julio Urías (2-0) gave up consecutive two-out solo homers to Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer in the first after the Padres failed to homer for the first time in nine games during a 6-0 loss Wednesday night.
The Dodgers answered right back in the bottom of the inning to tie it 2-all. Betts was hit by a pitch and scored on Seager's two-run shot to right on an 0-2 pitch from Paddack (2-2). Seager returned after missing five games because of lower back discomfort. AJ Pollock added a go-ahead solo homer with two outs.
Los Angeles scored in each of the first five innings. Betts connected on a two-run shot to left field with two outs in the second for a 5-2 lead.
Pollock's RBI double made it 6-2 in the third.
Austin Barnes and Betts went deep back-to-back in the fourth, extending the Dodgers' lead to 9-2. Barnes' two-run shot landed in the left-field pavilion and Betts followed with a solo shot to the same area.
Betts wasn't finished. He smashed a two-run homer in the fifth for an 11-2 lead.
“He's impressive,” Seager said.
The Dodgers' offensive outburst didn't include reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, who went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and a walk before being replaced.
Urías allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked none.
Paddack gave up six runs and six hits in three innings. He struck out one and walked one.
Thirteen different Dodgers have homered this season, and every position that has recorded an at-bat has gone deep.
Cubs 4, Brewers 2
Yu Darvish took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his third straight dominant start, and the major league-leading Cubs defeated Milwaukee.
Darvish allowed just one hit — Justin Smoak’s solo homer with one out in the seventh inning on his 98th pitch — before Casey Sadler relieved to start the eighth. The 33-year-old right-hander from Japan struck out 11 and threw 104 pitches.
Before Smoak’s drive, Darvish allowed only three baserunners. He walked Ben Gamel in the second and Orlando Arcia in the fifth and hit Christian Yelich with a low pitch in the first.
Kyle Schwarber homered early as Chicago improved to 13-3 for the first time since 1907. Javier Baez, Ian Happ and David Bote each had an RBI.
Rowan Wick allowed Smoak's run-scoring double with two outs in the ninth before finishing the four-hitter for his third save.
Cubs slugger Kris Bryant was held out of the starting lineup with a sore left wrist and ring finger.
Brett Anderson (0-2) allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Pirates 9, Reds 6
Adam Frazier hit the first of three homers off Anthony DeSclafani, who hasn’t beaten Pittsburgh in his last seven tries, and Pittsburgh returned from a three-day layoff with a flourish against Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh’s three-game series in St. Louis was called off because of the Cardinals’ COVID-19 outbreak.
The Pirates showed no rust against a pitcher they’ve dominated. Frazier connected on DeSclafani’s second pitch, and the rout was on. DeSclafani hasn’t beaten the Pirates since June 17, 2018, at PNC Park. Since then, he’s 0-5 in seven starts — all Pirates wins.
The Pirates sent 12 batters to the plate for seven runs in the second inning, their biggest of the season, in winning for only the second time in 12 games.
Orioles 11, Phillies 4
Pedro Severino and Rio Ruiz hit homers to back Thomas Eshelman and Baltimore swept three games from Philadelphia.
The Orioles, who lost 108 games last season, are off to a 10-7 start.
Eshelman (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings to earn his second career win.
Phillies starter Jake Arrieta (1-2) gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.
J.T. Realmuto hit a pair of two-run homers for the Phillies, who fell to 5-9 under first-year manager Joe Girardi.
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