Following a series win against the Red Sox to start the second half, the Dodgers continued their East Coast swing in Philadelphia with a four-game series.
Thanks to a breakout 4th inning and 8th inning and Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers were able to cruise to an easy 16-2 victory over the Phillies.
Kershaw worked out of bases loaded jams in the 1st and 3rd, which elevated his pitch count, but he otherwise kept the damage to a minimum. He allowed just one run, a solo shot to Scott Kingery to start the 3rd, but that was it through six innings. Aside from the homer, he allowed just three hits and two walks, striking out seven in 101 pitches.
As for the offense, the Dodgers got on the board in a wild 4th inning. Alex Verdugo singled to start and was immediately plated to tie the game by a Justin Turner double into left-center field. After a ground out moved JT to third, he scored on an infield single by Max Muncy. Corey Seager followed with a walk and Enrique Hernandez singled to plate another run and put runners on the corners. Austin Barnes then tried to safety squeeze and he got the bunt down, but nobody was covering first, so he reached on a bunt single and plated yet another run.
Kershaw then sacrificed both runners into scoring position and Joc Pederson notched an infield single that scored a run. Then Barnes and Joc ran a double-steal play that led to yet another run before a strikeout ended the six-run mess of an inning.
From there, the Dodgers did things in a more conventional fashion. Cody Bellinger homered in the 5th and 7th innings for his 32nd and 33rd dongs of the year, respectively.
In that same 7th, Muncy followed Bellinger with a homer of his own, his 24th dong of the year for back-to-back jacks.
The onslaught continued in the 8th, as Yacksel Rios took over and had a hell of an outing. He allowed Matt Beaty double, a Joc double, and a Verdugo homer to account for three runs.
He then hit JT with a breaking ball on the next pitch and got ejected, this despite everybody including JT defending him saying it wasn’t intentional. Weird scenes.
Anyway, that didn’t stop the Dodgers. Bellinger followed with a single and Yimi Garcia struck out, but Seager and Enrique walked to force in a run. Barnes then hit a sacrifice fly to complete the five-run inning that ended with Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn pitching.
Amazingly, that still wasn’t enough for the Dodgers. They put up two runs in the 9th as well behind Verdugo, Bellinger, and Seager singles, capped by a Hernandez double.
16 runs on 19 hits and five walks. Decent.
The aforementioned Yimi took over for Kershaw in the 7th and got a scoreless inning, giving up a hit but also getting a strikeout.
Casey Sadler then made his Dodgers debut in the 8th and got off to a rough start after allowing a bloop triple down the line and then hitting a batter. However, he rebounded with a strikeout, a sac fly to center for a run, and then a ground out to get out of the inning. He was also given the 9th inning, asked to protect a 14-run lead. Sadler gave up a single, but got a scoreless inning and a strikeout. He looked solid enough.
The Dodgers improve to 63-33 with the victory. They are now 15 games ahead of the Diamondbacks in the NL West, 4.5 games ahead of Braves in the NL, and a game ahead of the Yankees in the MLB.
The two teams will continue the series tomorrow at 1:05 PM HST/4:05 PM PST/7:05 PM EST. Walker Buehler will square off against Vince Velasquez, which seems like a favorable matchup for the Dodgers on the surface.