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Pollock keeps Dodgers homer-happy at home

3-run shot helps L.A. tie mark of 32 straight home games with a blast
@SarahWexler32
April 17, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- When A.J. Pollock launched a three-run home run off Sonny Gray in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Reds, not only did he break a scoreless tie, he also helped the Dodgers match an MLB record: 32 consecutive home games with a home run.

LOS ANGELES -- When A.J. Pollock launched a three-run home run off Sonny Gray in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Reds, not only did he break a scoreless tie, he also helped the Dodgers match an MLB record: 32 consecutive home games with a home run.

“It’s a cool stat, for sure,” Pollock said. “It’s a lot of power on this team. I’ve only been a part of, say, like, 15 of those games, but these guys are really trying to do damage. They’re trying to get pitches to hit."

Pollock’s record-tying blast came in support of Walker Buehler’s best start of the season so far, a one-run, 6 1/3-inning effort to secure a three-game sweep of Cincinnati. It was the Dodgers’ 38th home run of the season, the most in the National League and second in MLB to the Mariners’ 42.

“Looking at it over and over and over and over at Pollock, the Dodgers have got a great lineup,” Gray said. “They’ve got a great team. They’re going to grind. They’re going to continue to put pressure on you. Maybe it wasn’t my best pitch, but looking back at it, it was a 1-0 curveball that was in the bottom, location-wise, it was fine. The action on it was fine. He’s a really good player, and he put a good swing on it.”

Gray joins a long list of visiting pitchers who have served up big flies at Dodger Stadium since late last August, one that includes illustrious names like Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner and last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, Jacob deGrom.

The Dodgers’ streak dates back to Aug. 21, 2018, when Manny Machado homered off the Cardinals’ Luke Weaver. In those games, the Dodgers have combined to hit 60 homers. In 15 of those games, the Dodgers have hit multiple home runs, most notably eight on a very memorable 2019 Opening Day. During the streak, the Dodgers have averaged 1.88 homers a game, or a home run every 17.9 at-bats.

The power has come from all over the lineup, as 15 different batters have contributed to the streak. There have been some impressive shots in the bunch, too.

According to Statcast, the farthest projected distance of any of the home runs was 444 feet, which Max Muncy did on Aug. 25, 2018, against the Padres' Matt Strahm. The hardest-hit home run came off Joc Pederson’s bat at 112.6 mph on Sept. 22, 2018 vs. San Diego's Jacob Nix.

“I think the key to success is we’re taking good at-bats,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We’re taking walks when we need to. We’re staying in the strike zone. And we have guys that do elevate the baseball and have some power, so when we do that, the home runs are gonna come.”

The home dingers have, indeed, come for the Dodgers, like they have for almost no one else -- just one other club has exceeded 24 consecutive home games with a home run. And there’s a noticeable difference between the Dodgers teams that have managed this feat and the group they’re tied with. The 1999 Colorado Rockies, whose streak spanned from April 19 through July 3, called hitter’s haven Coors Field home. Park factors generally rate Dodger Stadium as around neutral, if not slightly pitcher-friendly. That clearly hasn’t been a problem for the Dodgers, though.

“[We] like hitting at home, for sure,” Pollock said.

The Dodgers will have to wait to try to break the tie for the record, as they embark on a seven-game road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago starting on Thursday. They’ll get that chance when they return to Dodger Stadium on Friday, April 26, against the Pirates.

But going on the road doesn’t necessarily mean the Dodgers’ power will suffer. They’ve homered in five of their seven 2019 away games, hitting multiple homers in four of them.

“Today, one was enough, fortunately for us,” Roberts said.

Sarah Wexler is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SarahWexler32.