Dodgers tie franchise record with 8 HRs, blast D-Backs 22-1
Justin Turner and Mookie Betts hit grand slams, Albert Pujols and AJ Pollock each homered twice and the Los Angeles Dodgers matched a franchise record by connecting eight times in all, routing the Arizona Diamondbacks 22-1 on Saturday night.
Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry also homered as the Dodgers matched a Los Angeles mark for runs, last scoring 22 in 2001 at Colorado. This was their highest-scoring game ever at Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962.
“That is a sign of a really good club that regardless of the score, we just keep trying to win pitches and not give at-bats away,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When you do that, some good things can happen.”
The Dodgers won for just the second time in their last six games. They scored in just four different innings, but broke loose in a big way — five runs in the first, four more in the second, seven runs in the seventh and six in the eighth.
The 22 runs marked the most allowed in a game by the Diamondbacks.
Los Angeles led 9-0 after two innings and breezed behind the pitching of Walker Buehler, who was chosen as an All-Star Game replacement Saturday.
Buehler (9-1) went six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven.
“I know it was nice to have Walker come out and throw the ball well,” Roberts said. “Obviously we took a lot of good at-bats and hit a lot of balls out of the ballpark just up and down the lineup. AJ had a huge night, Justin, everyone.”
The Dodgers started pulling starters out of the game in the fourth inning, starting with shortstop Chris Taylor.
“It was good to get some guys off their feet early and get some other guys at-bats and just get to the next day,” Roberts said.
It was yet another low point in a season full of them for the Diamondbacks. The mood was so bleak during a 17-game losing streak, another 13-game skid and a record 24-game road drought this season that this debacle was not considered rock bottom.
“Nah … that ought to tell you the type of season we’ve had,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “You lose 20-plus (consecutive) games on the road, you’re fighting a 16-, 17-game losing streak, whatever that number was.
“I think for me, we’re on the rise. We’re in a different spot. I think we are well beyond our worst days here,” he said.
Turner, added earlier in the day to the All-Star team, hit his first career grand slam in the second inning off starter Caleb Smith (2-6). Smith never recorded an out in the second before departing, giving up nine runs on six hits with three walks while recording just three outs.
Betts hit his fifth slam in the seventh. The Dodgers top the majors with nine grand slams this year.
Pujols connected in the seventh and eighth, giving him 675 career home runs. His last homer came off Arizona outfielder Josh Reddick, who got the last two outs.
“It was great. It’s always fun watching Albert,” Pollock said. “Every time he hits a homer, you’re watching history. The guy has been doing it for so long. He’s hit a lot of homers and every one is special.”
Bellinger and Pollock hit back-to-back home runs in the first. McKinstry and Pujols went back-to-back in the seventh.
The Dodgers sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning against Smith, taking a 2-0 lead on Max Muncy’s double that scored Betts and Taylor.
Muncy, Taylor and Betts already had been named National League All-Stars, with Betts bowing out of Tuesday’s game because unspecified injuries.
The Dodgers improved to 8-1 against the Diamondbacks this season.
Diamondbacks: OF Kole Calhoun, who had not played since April 27 because of a strained left hamstring, was activated from the 60-day injured list and started in right field. … INF Asdrubal Cabrera was placed on the injured list with a right hamstring strain, while INF/OF Andrew Young was recalled from Triple-A Reno.
Dodgers: Betts said Saturday that an accumulation of “nagging” injuries led to his decision to pass on Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Betts still started in right field Saturday and is expected to be available for Sunday’s game. … LHP Clayton Kershaw, on the injured list with left forearm inflammation, played catch Saturday, one day after an MRI showed no serious injury.
The Diamondbacks will send RHP Merrill Kelly (5-7, 4.60 ERA) to the mound Sunday, while the Dodgers counter with RHP Tony Gonsolin (1-0, 2.11) in the first-half finale for both teams.