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Dodgers 1st to 50 wins with help from Taylor

@kengurnick
June 20, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers don’t panic when they lose a key performer. They just keep winning. Starting pitcher Rich Hill leaves Wednesday night’s game against the Giants with a forearm injury after one inning and the Dodgers slug four homers in a 9-2 victory, a 50th win in 75

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers don’t panic when they lose a key performer. They just keep winning.

Starting pitcher Rich Hill leaves Wednesday night’s game against the Giants with a forearm injury after one inning and the Dodgers slug four homers in a 9-2 victory, a 50th win in 75 games to tie the second-best start in Los Angeles history.

They lose Corey Seager to a hamstring injury and can fill in with Chris Taylor, who slugged two homers, a double and drove in four runs. They give Kyle Garlick his third start and he blasts his first MLB home run. They demand eight innings from the bullpen and it allows only four hits.

Box score

“Credit to our guys for shutting the door,” said Taylor. “It was big for us to get a lead early there. We’re playing free and easy, relaxed. We’re a very confident group and we’re playing our best baseball.”

Taylor’s three-run homer in the first inning accomplished the early lead. But when Seager was injured June 11 in Anaheim, Taylor was hitting only .218. He’s 8-for-22 since after the first multi-homer game of his career. He has six RBIs in the last three games, matching his production for the previous 26 games.

“I’ve felt pretty good for a little bit,” said Taylor. “Mechanically, I feel like I’ve been very consistent, doing the same things for the past couple months now, which is a change of pace from last year when I felt like every week I was doing something different.”

Taylor said he was particularly happy that Garlick homered on the same night because of a conversation they had a day earlier.

“It’s funny, we were talking yesterday, I think he has three three-homer games,” said Taylor. “I was like, ‘I’m never going to hit two in a game.’ We talked about it yesterday and talked it into existence. It’s cool.”

Taylor acknowledged that the routine of knowing you are playing every day can lead to better results.

“Anybody will say it’s easier to get in a groove and build on those hot streaks when you’re playing every day. But I know it’s part of being on this team, you’re not going to have that luxury. We have a lot of really good players. Try to keep a level head, whether you’re going good or bad, just stay consistent.”

Cody Bellinger finished the scoring with a two-run homer in the seventh inning. He has 24, one shy of his total for the entire 2018 season. He’s also one home run shy of his total before the 2017 All-Star Game. At home, he’s batting .401 with 16 home runs and 35 RBIs.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.