Home Sports Resurgent Dodgers power past the Texas Rangers

Resurgent Dodgers power past the Texas Rangers

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LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA CALIFORNIA-Dodgers Shohei Ohtani rounds the bases after his two-run home run against the Rangers in the sixth inning at Dodgers Stadium on Tuesday. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

He Dodgers They thought they found a spark during the series win over the New York Yankees last weekend.

Turns out, after a month of mostly mediocre play by the first-place ballclub, they may have actually lit a furious, relentless fire over the summer.

In their encore to a successful showdown in the Bronx, the Dodgers returned home to dismantle the defending World Series champions on Tuesday night, posting a 15-2 rout of the Texas Rangers, their most lopsided victory in all of their history. the season.

“It was great,” outfielder Teoscar Hernández said. “We have been playing very good baseball. We are good with the bat. And that’s why we’ve been producing a lot lately.”

It has come as a stark contrast from just a week ago, when the Dodgers were struggling in the middle of their season.

They went 12-12 from May 10 to June 5. They battled lineup and pitching staff inconsistencies for much of that span. And entering their matchup with the Yankees last weekend, they were looking for a “shot in the arm,” as Roberts said before that series.

Five games later, that shock has been received.

The team’s star-studded lineup has come back to life, highlighted by Tuesday’s season-high scoring output with four home runs in a seven-run sixth inning, the club’s first four-homer inning since September 2021.

A banged-up pitching staff has maintained solid production, posting a strong six-inning, one-run start Tuesday from the previously struggling left-hander. James Paxton.

And, a month after the Dodgers went on a 14-2 run to open a big lead in the National League West standings, the team now appears to be on the verge of another scorching stretch on the schedule, enjoying contributions from all the parts of the lineup. , and all corners of the pitching staff, on their way to winning four of their last five games.

“We got a lead and then we kept adding to it,” Roberts said. “I just thought we won a lot of at-bats.”

In fact, Tuesday’s explosion began with a bang, when Will Smith he carried a fly ball deep enough for a three-run homer in the bottom of the first.

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Mookie Betts then opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a two-out, three-run, bases-loaded double to left field that gave the Dodgers a 6-1 lead.

“That,” Roberts said, “was probably the big hit of the night.”

However, it was not until the sixth inning that the club’s excellent form at the plate reached its peak.

In a span of seven batters against Rangers reliever Grant Anderson, the Dodgers left the yard four times.

Shohei Ohtani hit a two-run home run to right field. Freddie Freeman added a solo blast in the next at-bat. Hernandez, the reigning National League Player of the Week after his big series against the Yankees, hit a two-run homer for his 17th home run of the year, second most in the National League. And with two outs in the inning, Jason Heyward threw another long ball to deep right field.

Did the Dodgers, who have celebrated home runs this season by sprinkling sunflower seeds in the dugout, have enough supply for the entire inning?

“Thank God we have many in the dugout,” Hernández, who introduced the ritual to the team this season, said affirmatively. “It’s fun when that happens.”

When asked what had changed in the lineup over the past week, after the Dodgers averaged just 3.7 runs in their previous 24 games, Roberts pointed to several factors in the wake of Tuesday’s win.

The big hitters at the top of the order are hitting again, highlighted Tuesday by a combined nine hits and 11 RBIs from Betts, Ohtani, Freeman, Smith and Hernandez.

The bottom of the order is also stressing opposing pitchers, thanks to the recent resurgence of role players like Gavin Lux and Andy Pages (who had two hits on Tuesday).

However, Roberts said he’s seeing better overall “competition” from his hitters lately, proudly highlighting a two-strike single by Lux in the fourth inning, a hit that ultimately led to Betts’ three-run double, as the last example of the best conviction and quality at bat.

“You’re not going to have your A-swing every night,” Roberts said. “But you should have competed. And tonight I saw that. I have seen it in the last four or five games.”

The question now is whether the Dodgers can keep all of this going for the foreseeable future and turn a hot week into another whirlwind stretch of their season.

“I hope so,” Freeman said, evading the situation. “I just wish baseball was more of a guarantee and I could say yes.”

“I think so,” Roberts repeated, more definitively. “Just what I saw in the second half of that trip, I think there’s a lot of good things happening offensively. Tonight everything certainly went well. And I can see us keeping this up for a while.”

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This story originally appeared on Los Angeles Times.

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