LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers slugged four home runs, including two by rookie Corey Seager and one from Chase Utley in his first game against his former club, in a 9-4 win over the Phillies Monday night."It was cool," Utley said of playing against his team of 12 1/2 seasons.
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers slugged four home runs, including two by rookie Corey Seager and one from Chase Utley in his first game against his former club, in a 9-4 win over the Phillies Monday night.
"It was cool," Utley said of playing against his team of 12 1/2 seasons. "You're still trying to go out there and compete and win. Obviously I know lot of faces in that dugout, but the main goal is to win a game and we did. It was definitely different. Wasn't sure what to expect, but it was exciting to see those guys for sure."
Seager set a Los Angeles Dodgers single-season mark for home runs by a shortstop with 21. The franchise record is 22 by Glenn Wright in 1930.
"When you don't think he can do any more, he continually exceeds that," manager Dave Roberts said of Seager. "Every time he comes up to bat, something special can happen. His defense has been consistent all year long. He's done so many things for us, obviously he's a special player."
Yasmani Grandal also homered with his career-best 17th in support of rookie Julio Urías (2-2), who allowed three runs in five innings while making his final start as a teenager (he turns 20 on Friday)and notching his first win at Dodger Stadium. Two of the Phillies' runs were unearned, scoring on Urias' throwing error.
Phillies starter Zach Eflin (3-5) allowed three homers and seven runs in three innings. Joc Pederson had two doubles and three RBIs for the Dodgers. Tommy Joseph hit his 15th homer for the Phillies.
"When he's got it, he's good," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Eflin. "When he doesn't have command, he's very hittable."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Better than the linescore: Urias lasted five innings with his pitch count up to 88, but he was victim of a 33-pitch, three-run third inning in which his throwing error allowed two unearned runs to score. He not only threw Joseph's bases-loaded comebacker to the backstop for one run, he was late covering the plate as the second run scored.
"To get summoned up here, work out of the bullpen, to give us a start like this was huge," Roberts said. "Outside of the wild throw to the plate, it could have been a cleaner outing and there were a lot of soft hits, broken bats, he pitched well. The way he composed himself was really exciting for us."
Eflin's struggles continue: Things got ugly quickly for Eflin, which continued a troubling trend. He allowed five runs in the first inning and has a 13.85 ERA in his last three starts, becoming just the third Phillies starter since 2000 to allow six or more earned runs in three consecutive starts. Sean O'Sullivan (2015) and Joe Blanton ('12) are the others. More >
"It could be mechanical, it could be mentally," Eflin said about recently leaving pitches in the middle of the plate. "I've got to bear down and really execute the pitch. I haven't been doing that and I've got to do a lot better job doing that."
A scare for Grandal: In the top of the ninth inning, Grandal took a foul ball off the right shoulder, but remained in the game. A similar injury to the left shoulder last year ultimately required surgery and led to his slow start this year. Roberts said he expected Grandal to play on Tuesday. Earlier, Grandal homered, doubled, walked and scored three runs, extending his hitting streak to eight games. He has 11 home runs in 27 games since June 30.
Joseph shows his power: The Phillies need a first baseman next season and the rookie Joseph is making his case. His 15 homers are the most by a Phillies rookie since Ryan Howard hit 22 in '05. Joseph is hitting .325 (26-for-80) with four doubles, seven home runs and 15 RBIs in 26 games since July 3.
"He's got a gift of hitting the ball extremely hard, I think we all see that." -- Utley on Pederson, whose 36 extra-base hits are third on the club
Phillies: Right-hander Vince Velasquez (8-3, 3.33 ERA) tries to get the Phillies back on track Tuesday night in a the second game of a three-game series against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Velasquez is hoping to reduce his walks. He has walked 13 batters in 24 innings in his last four starts. First pitch is set for 10:10 p.m. ET.
Dodgers:Kenta Maeda, coming off another impressive start at Coors Field, takes the ball for the Dodgers Tuesday night in the 7:10 p.m. PT start. Maeda is only 3-5 at home, but that comes with a 3.17 ERA. He's never faced the Phillies, but is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts against the National League East.
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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.