Dodger Stadium suddenly a hitter-friendly park
Backup players come through with power surge in sweep
LOS ANGELES -- The prolific Dodgers offense has Dodger Stadium playing like Coors Field.
"I haven't seen the ball fly at Dodger Stadium like it is this year. I hope they're not talking about a humidor," catcher A.J. Ellis said Sunday after watching an assault of 10 extra-base hits in a 7-0 win over the Rockies that extended the Dodgers' win streak to seven games and concluded a sweep of the six-game homestand.
The damage was well distributed and it came with regulars Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Juan Uribe and Yasmani Grandal out of the lineup.
Scott Van Slyke, filling in for Crawford, homered with two doubles and three RBIs. Justin Turner, starting at third for Uribe, tied a career high with four hits, three of them doubles. Joc Pederson homered and doubled, andHowie Kendrick homered and singled. All of the home runs came in a five-run sixth inning off reliever Scott Oberg.
Starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy was the benefactor, keeping the ball in the park through six scoreless innings after allowing four homers in his last start.
The 2015 Dodgers -- without Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez -- lead the National League with 17 home runs, 13 of them in nine games at Chavez Ravine, eight of those games wins. The also lead the NL in runs scored with 63.
"Not the pitcher's park I envisioned," said McCarthy, who signed a four-year, $48 million contract to pitch in a home park long known as home-run stingy.
"(Clayton Kershaw) has the theory about no dew on the dugout railing at night anymore. I don't know if that's right, but in past years you had to crush balls to hit them out of here. I feel like I've already seen more balls go for home runs that would have been falling for doubles. I wondered over the winter if they might have tried to compensate for the offense with harder baseballs."
Manager Don Mattingly said if he's "a little" surprised by the home-run numbers, he's not surprised at his club's run production, even without Kemp and Ramirez.
"I thought we'd have to grind it out offensively and fight for outs, and we're having that, and when you do, good things happen," Mattingly said.
Ellis had a single and double while Ethier had a walk and a run scored as the four subs went a combined 9-for-16 with two homers, six doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored.
"J.T., me, Dre, A.J. -- we have our roles and accept it," said Van Slyke. "We have fun with it."
Ellis said the Dodgers' offensive approach so far has been "relentless," resulting in the fast start every team wants.
"People forget about doubles when they talk about power," Ellis said. "When the best hitter in baseball [Adrian Gonzalez] didn't have a single hit and we put up seven runs, that's the mark of a great team.
"We're just banking wins right now. We know you go through rough patches and the wins get harder to get. This was a big homestand, because we had some come-from-behind wins, which we didn't do last year."