SAN DIEGO — When Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman turned teammates earlier than final season, each superstars knew they had been going to be hitting atop the Dodgers’ lineup for no less than a half-decade.
That actuality has change into a dream for the Dodgers and a nightmare for opposing groups. On Sunday, it was Freeman who led Los Angeles’ offensive outburst. On Monday afternoon, it was Betts’ flip to ship the knockout blow, a grand slam to cap off an eight-run fourth inning in a 13-7 win over the Padres at Petco Park.
The Dodgers have hit 11 grand slams this season, matching the 2021 staff for the franchise document. It was the sixth grand slam of Betts’ profession.
“We simply don’t quit,” Betts mentioned. “Now we have to play all 9 innings. Something can occur at any given time, and everyone knows that. We’ve been round for some time, and the younger guys are sort of taking to it. Now we have enjoyable. That’s the primary factor. Now we have enjoyable enjoying the sport.”
Many instances this season, the Dodgers’ beginning rotation has dug the staff right into a gap. That was the case as soon as once more when the Padres exploded for 5 runs within the third in opposition to right-hander Tony Gonsolin, leaping out to a 5-0 lead.
However because it’s finished all season, the Dodgers’ potent offense bailed out Gonsolin, who allowed six runs on 9 hits and one stroll over six innings. It occurred within the blink of a watch.
After not getting a lot going off Padres right-hander Seth Lugo via three innings, the Dodgers figured him out within the fourth in a giant manner. Whereas Betts delivered the go-ahead slam, the eight-run outburst was a full-team effort.
David Peralta and Jason Heyward ripped key RBI doubles off Lugo to assist the Dodgers chip away on the deficit. Kiké Hernández saved the inning going with a stroll. James Outman, who went 4-for-4 and reached safely all 5 plate appearances to proceed his spectacular second half, singled. Up subsequent, Miguel Rojas flared an RBI single to shallow heart.
That every one set the stage for Betts, who had punched out in his first two at-bats of the sport. However after Lugo fell behind 3-0, he was pressured to throw a heater within the zone to Betts, and the 2018 AL MVP didn’t miss it, blasting it over Juan Soto’s head in left-center discipline.
“I don’t know if it’s that I don’t just like the inexperienced gentle, I simply don’t sometimes like swinging on 3-0,” Betts mentioned. “I nonetheless see myself as a leadoff hitter, and I’m speculated to get on base. Possibly that’s simply sort of what’s been ingrained in me. However in that scenario, I imply, particularly with the momentum, I simply felt we wanted to try to rating as many factors as potential, and that was an excellent time to swing.”
Coming into the 2023 season, there have been some questions concerning the Dodgers’ offense. The staff misplaced Trea Turner and Justin Turner in free company. Cody Bellinger additionally signed with the Cubs, and he’s having fun with a turnaround season after a pair of disappointing campaigns with Los Angeles that led to him getting non-tendered final November.
By means of the primary 4 months, the Dodgers haven’t solely answered all of these questions; they’ve established themselves as among the finest offensive groups within the Majors. With the uncharacteristic struggles from the pitching facet, it’s been the lineup that has led the best way.
“[We’re] lucky sufficient to have an offense like we do,” Gonsolin mentioned.
With the best way this season has gone, there’s no purpose to suppose that gained’t proceed over the past two months.
“It’s not simple. I feel that comes with expertise, within the sense that each at-bat, each pitch issues,” mentioned supervisor Dave Roberts. “Different groups might’ve simply conceded and break up the collection, however to our credit score, we saved scratching, clawing, placing collectively good at-bats. I feel we snuck up on Lugo. He was type of cruising, and we sort of fought again.”