LOS ANGELES—After hitting four homers against the Cubs on Sunday, May 28, the Dodgers followed up with another strong game offensively. Chase Utley, Logan Forsythe and Cody Bellinger all hit solo homers, and with the help of excellent pitching by Rich Hill (2-2, 4.09 ERA), the Dodgers took care of business at Busch stadium. The strong offensive play of late has Dodgers manager Dave Roberts feeling very confident of his team, which is currently riding a five game win streak.
“We’re starting to hit the ball out of the ballpark,” Roberts said. “To see Logan get a homer, obviously Cody’s been doing it. Chase (Utley has had) real quality at-bats and [is] starting to hit the ball out of the ballpark, but I think if you look at our lineup, there’s guys that are really grinding that aren’t swinging the way we’re capable of.”
As Robert’s mentioned, hitting the ball out of the park is something Cody Bellinger has been making a habit of this month. His fourth inning homer was the ninth in the month of May, tying a Dodger rookie record set by James Loney (2007) Joc Pederson (2015). After starting the season in the minors, Bellinger has ascended quickly. He currently is the club leader in home ruins (11) and RBI (29).
“I just try to be consistent every day,” said Bellinger. “Sometimes in the outfield I kind of just look around, but, yeah, it’s real, and I just try to keep going.”
While Bellinger and company took care of business on offense, Hill provided a solid effort to help lead his team to victory. In his start against the Cardinals last week, he allowed four hits and seven walks, giving up five runs in only four innings of disappointing play. On Monday, May 29 he got his revenge. In five innings of strong play, he only surrendered one run and two hits.
“We made some adjustments this week, mechanical adjustments, and proved to be successful and feel much more comfortable where I’m at now. Getting my hand out of my glove, getting timing down, and all that stuff was huge. You could see it today, it was much more crisp and clean, and the ball was coming out much more efficiently.”
Hills performance was ill-timed for the Cardinals as their usually reliable start Mike Leake (5-3, 2.24 ERA) uncharacteristically struggled. He has had good starts in each of his nine outings in 2017, but on Monday he gave up five runs in seven innings of play.
“I thought there were some good times, bad times, but for the most part I gave them a couple mistakes that they were ready for,” Leake said. “It was a tough challenge today.”
The Dodgers have now won five straight games, and are only a half game behind the Colorado Rockies for first place in the NL West. Kenta Maeda (4-2, 5.08 ERA) will look to earn the Dodgers first place as he and the Dodgers take on Michael Wacha (2-2 3.06 ERA) who will be looking to rebound off his previous poor performance against the Dodgers last week.