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Bellinger shows off cannon, then sets RBI record

Giants rally in 3-run 7th, snap Dodgers' 4-game win streak
@kengurnick
April 30, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants ruined another amazing April night for Cody Bellinger on Monday when Evan Longoria’s three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning provided a 3-2 comeback win over the Dodgers at Oracle Park. Bellinger threw a runner out at third base from right field and

SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants ruined another amazing April night for Cody Bellinger on Monday when Evan Longoria’s three-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning provided a 3-2 comeback win over the Dodgers at Oracle Park.

Bellinger threw a runner out at third base from right field and singled home the first run on an 0-2 pitch off a left-hander for another MLB record. Bellinger has 37 RBIs, the most before May 1 in MLB history. He had been tied with Mark McGwire and Juan Gonzalez, who both reached the mark in 1998.

Bellinger went 2-for-3 with a walk and threw out Brandon Crawford in the second inning trying to go from first to third on Kevin Pillar’s single with no outs, with Bellinger’s fastball tracked by Statcast at 91.7 mph. The two singles increased Bellinger’s MLB record for total bases in March/April to 96, 11 more than Chase Utley’s previous record. Bellinger leads the league in everything, just about.

The Dodgers scored both runs in the sixth inning, which began with a single off Tony Watson from Joc Pederson, who entered the game batting .083 against left-handers. Justin Turner singled, Bellinger singled in one run and Max Muncy doubled in the other.

And just to show that Bellinger is, actually, human, he struck out in the fourth inning and was doubled off third base on Enrique Hernandez’s liner to shortstop, cutting short the sixth inning.

Three innings after Bellinger’s highlight throw, first baseman Muncy probably saved a run with a diving catch of Yangervis Solarte’s line drive with one out and runners on first and second.

Those defensive gems benefitted Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda. Coming off a four-inning start at Wrigley Field, Maeda lacked his offspeed touch but escaped a few jams to give the Dodgers five-plus scoreless innings, while Scott Alexander inherited Maeda’s last jam and pitched a scoreless sixth.

Then came Ross Stripling’s first relief appearance of the year, and it didn’t go well.

“Haven’t felt this way in a long time," said Stripling. “The guys put 8 1/3 innings of really good baseball besides when I was on the field. Frustrating for the first one to go that way. Everything gets magnified out of the bullpen, you’ve got the rivalry here, all that stuff. Hopefully, can only go up from here.”

With one out, Stripling allowed a single to center by Joe Panik, a double down the right-field line to Yangervis Solarte and then walked Brandon Belt to load the bases. And Stripling’s outing, designed to go multiple innings, barely went multiple batters.

“I feel like my stuff was fine and I wasn’t over-pumped,” said Stripling, who was sent to the bullpen after making six starts as Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu all missed time with injuries. “I got the first out, then two good pieces of hitting on the curveball, so they beat my best pitch. Probably threw too short on Belt with the walk.”

Dylan Floro came on and struck out Buster Posey, but hung a 2-1 slider to Longoria, who pulled it into the left-field corner to clear the bases for all of San Francisco’s runs.

“Floro probably gets Longoria out eight of 10 times or nine of 10 times, so that just wasn’t meant to be," Stripling said. "It’s a tough way to get reacclimated to the bullpen, that’s for sure. Hit the ground running and move on to the next one.”

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.