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Bellinger's 4-hit, 2-HR night helps LA rout Philly

After 6-run 4th, Belli retakes MLB lead with 32nd, 33rd home runs
@paul_casella
July 16, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- Through three innings Monday night, the Dodgers looked less like the team that entered with the best record in Major League Baseball and more like a club that had landed in Philadelphia at approximately 4 a.m. ET following Sunday's late-night, 12-inning victory in Boston. Then, the Red Bull

PHILADELPHIA -- Through three innings Monday night, the Dodgers looked less like the team that entered with the best record in Major League Baseball and more like a club that had landed in Philadelphia at approximately 4 a.m. ET following Sunday's late-night, 12-inning victory in Boston.

Then, the Red Bull kicked in.

By the time all was said and done, Monday's game had ultimately transformed into one of the most dominating performances of the season for the Dodgers. Cody Bellinger had four hits -- including his 32nd and 33rd home runs to retake the Major League lead from Milwaukee's Christian Yelich -- in a 16-2 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Box score

“I drank two Red Bulls and took a lot of Advil," said Bellinger, who went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and four runs. "So I was feeling all right."

Seven of the Dodgers' eight starting position players had multiple hits, and all eight starters had at least one hit, one run and one RBI. The Dodgers plated six runs in the fourth and five more in the eighth, before the Phillies turned to outfielder Roman Quinn to record the final four outs on the mound. And it all happened amid consistent "Let's go Dodgers" chants that couldn't even be drowned out by the Philly faithful.

None of that seemed likely with the way this one started.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw gave up a first-inning single to Bryce Harper, then uncorked a pair of wild pitches and issued two walks to load the bases. Though he escaped that jam unscathed, Kershaw later allowed a leadoff homer to Scott Kingery in the third inning, which also featured a double by Harper, followed by back-to-back Los Angeles errors to once again load the bases with one out.

Kershaw again escaped, this time striking out Jay Bruce and getting Maikel Franco to ground out to end the threat. That began a stretch of Kershaw retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced on his way to finishing with seven strikeouts over six innings.

"Once we got through that third inning, and I was able to kind of battle out of that jam, I really felt like our team kind of picked us up from there and felt like we were in this game," Kershaw said. "I feel like that was a big inning for us tonight."

Offensively, the Dodgers' only baserunner through three innings was Kershaw, who reached on a fielding error by Phillies starter Zach Eflin. Over the final six frames, however, the Dodgers pushed across 16 runs on a season-high-tying 19 hits.

The stark turnaround began with a fourth inning in which the Dodgers plated six runs, despite the ball leaving the infield just three times. It included three RBI infield singles and a delayed double steal in which Austin Barnes -- who had reached on a successful squeeze play earlier in the frame -- successfully swiped home.

"That was kind of like in Spring Training, what we do on the backfields," Barnes said. "A sac bunt -- first-and-third squeeze bunt -- then we do a double steal. I thought it was great."

The next few runs came in far more conventional fashion. Bellinger clubbed a solo homer to right field -- just below the second deck that had been taken over by Dodgers fans -- in the fifth inning, then added another solo shot in the seventh. It was his 11th career multi-homer game, including his fourth this season. It's also his second this month, after he hit two homers, including a walk-off shot, on July 3 against the D-backs.

The strong Dodgers contingent in the second deck welcomed Bellinger back to the outfield with another chorus of "M-V-P" chants to start the bottom of the inning, to which he responded with a wave and tossed a ball to a Dodgers fan.

"That was special," Bellinger said. "It’s cool. I mean, we’re in Philadelphia, we shouldn’t have that many fans at a game. They’ve been coming out and supporting us -- it’s really cool."

Max Muncy followed Bellinger's second homer with one of his own, as the Dodgers went back to back for the eighth time this season. Half of those eight occurrences have involved Bellinger.

"I think you see one person do it, then another person does it, and so now the whole team kind of buys into it," Muncy said. "It’s just attitude, it’s the clubhouse culture we’ve created, and I think tonight really showed that."

Speaking of attitude, the most impressive part of the night for manager Dave Roberts wasn't Bellinger's two home runs or the way his team erupted for 16 runs after an early-morning arrival. It was watching Bellinger leg out an infield single with a 12-run lead in the top of the ninth, then Matt Beaty go sliding toward the first-base dugout attempting to catch a foul popup with a 14-run advantage in the bottom of that frame.

"That’s the stuff that, for me, epitomizes our club," Roberts said. "Those are things that I think are just really special."

Paul Casella is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.