However, when the Dodgers are at their best, they’re getting solid production from the bottom of the order, serving as tablesetters for the top of the order to do some damage. That’s exactly what happened in the second inning of the Dodgers’ 9-6 win over the Marlins on Friday at Dodger Stadium.
“It was fun,” Muncy said. “That’s what we usually do. Like we talked about the last couple of weeks, we haven’t been doing that. But hopefully, we can get back to doing it, because it’s a lot of fun when we’re doing that.”
After an offensive resurgence during the two-game set against the Mariners, the Dodgers’ lineup didn’t waste much time to stay hot against a tough right-hander in the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara, who came into Friday’s start with a 2.72 ERA.
Every starter in the Dodgers' lineup had a hit on Friday, and the 5-9 hitters combined for five hits. To put that into context, the Dodgers are now 10-3 in games in which the hitters in those spots record five or more hits. That was one of the keys for the Dodgers during their early-season success, and it’ll continue to be big for them moving forward, especially once they get Cody Bellinger and Zach McKinstry back in the lineup. Though the Dodgers did get some potentially bad news as AJ Pollock aggravated his left hamstring and is likely headed to the injured list.
“We’re gonna score runs,” Kershaw said. “I think our offense is still tops in the league, so I’m not super worried about that. We have [Bellinger] coming back, McKinstry coming back, and the guys that are in there every day have been doing a great job, so I’m not worried about that at all.”
After the bottom of the order got the rally started, Muncy was able to deliver the big blow. Muncy crushed a three-run homer off Alcantara, putting the exclamation point on an eight-run second inning for the Dodgers. Muncy continued his recent tear, hitting a homer in each of the first three games of the current nine-game homestand. He’s hit five home runs and has drawn eight walks in his last eight games.
“It’s just something you have to work at each day,” Muncy said. “The work you put in, the routine you put in helps you sustain it, and it’s one of those things where there’s still a lot of hard work to be done. You just have to show up each day and do it.”
That was plenty of run support for Kershaw, who had a bit of an uneven start, though was still able to come away with his sixth win of the season. Kershaw allowed five runs, four of them coming in the third inning, but the left-hander also struck out a season-high 11 over his six innings.
The slider in particular caused fits for the Marlins’ lineup, as he recorded 22 whiffs with the pitch. He threw a season-high 105 pitches.
“We still have a good ballclub,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “We had one a week ago, but we’re just finding ways to win. Obviously, offensively, we’re putting together some good at-bats and pushing runs across, and the defense has been tightened up. I’d like to think we’ve turned the corner and continue to get better.”