Dodger's 1st HR? Bizarre inside-the-parker

April 4th, 2021

DENVER -- In what had already been a bizarre season-opening series, even for Coors Field, another strange play took place in the Dodgers' 6-5 win on Saturday night over the Rockies.

In the top of the eighth inning, with the score tied, 4-4, pinch-hitter smashed a drive to deep left field, where Raimel Tapia made a leaping attempt and crashed into the wall. His glove deflected the ball from going over the wall, and it landed in fair territory and rolled toward the left-field corner. Tapia, who was hurt, had fallen to the warning track but somehow had the presence of mind to get up and go after the baseball.

But by the time he could get near it, McKinstry had circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run, the first homer of his Major League career. Tapia left the game under his own power, with Rockies manager Bud Black revealing postgame that the outfielder had whiplash and neck pain.

“Definitely not,” McKinstry laughed, when asked if this is how he drew up his first big league homer. “I definitely saw it going a little further, but it’s still a really cool story and it’ll be one to tell later in life.”

All of this came two days after Cody Bellinger launched a ball over Tapia's head and over the left-field wall, but ended up with a single after being called out for passing Justin Turner on the basepaths. Turner thought the ball had been caught, as Tapia made a leap nearly identical to his leap Saturday night, and Turner headed back to first as Bellinger was rounding the bag.

So on Opening Day, the Dodgers hit a home run that wasn't, and two days later, they hit a home run that didn't go over the wall. Oh, and a cat ran onto the field in Game 2 of the series Friday night.

McKinstry has probably dreamed about what his first Major League homer would be like, especially since making his MLB debut for the Dodgers in September of last year. He could never have imagined the sequence that played out Saturday.

But when you're at Coors Field, you just never know what'll happen.

“To expect the unexpected, I guess is what we should expect in the fourth game of this series here,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “When you play here, that’s kind of what happens. Not necessarily cats, but weird things happen here.”