Dodgers tee off vs. Texas with 5 HRs -- including 4 in 1 inning!

June 12th, 2024

LOS ANGELES -- After every homer, runs out of the dugout with a handful of sunflower seeds and throws them at a teammate’s face. It’s something Hernández has done since his time in Toronto and has now become the Dodgers’ home run celebration this season.

The Dodgers are going to need a refill of sunflower seeds after hitting five homers, including four in a seven-run sixth inning, en route to a 15-2 blowout win over the Rangers on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

“Thank God we have a bunch [of sunflower seeds] in the dugout,” Hernández laughed. “It’s fun when that happens.”

Following an intense weekend at Yankee Stadium, it was going to be interesting to see how the Dodgers came out to open the homestand. It’s natural to have an emotional letdown after a series against one of the best teams in the league. Instead, the Dodgers completed one of their most impressive offensive performances of the season against the defending World Series champions.

got it started early with a three-run blast in the first inning off right-hander Dane Dunning. Smith, who should be in consideration to start the All-Star Game behind the plate, has 10 homers this season and has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games.

In the fourth, the Dodgers used an extended rally to increase their lead. , who has been vocal about not feeling his best at the plate over the last month or so, delivered with a two-out bases-loaded double to give the Dodgers a 6-1 lead.

“It was a very welcomed night,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “I think guys were a little tired today, and that’s why you just never know how the game is going to play out. But we caught a lead and then kept adding on. Collectively, it was just a great night all around.”

That lead helped support , who had a bounceback outing, allowing just one run on two hits over six innings of work. The Dodgers’ offense, however, was just getting started.

, who, like Betts, has also been experiencing a downturn at the plate for nearly a month, got things started in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run homer off Grant Anderson that traveled a Statcast-projected 433 feet with a 114.2 mph exit velocity. It was only Ohtani’s third homer in his last 20 games.

Behind Ohtani, got in the action with a solo homer of his own. Two batters later, it was Hernández’s turn to get some sunflower seeds thrown at his face as the National League Player of the Week homered for a third straight game. then put the finishing touches on the seven-run inning with a two-run shot into the visitors’ bullpen.

“Yeah, it’s fun,” Freeman said. “You always hear it, that hitting is contagious. Once Mookie worked the walk, Shohei hits the homer, you just want to try to keep it going, start the inning again. … Those are the innings that are fun for fans that come to those games. Glad they came tonight.”

The Dodgers are the first team in the Majors this season to hit four homers in an inning. It’s also the first time Los Angeles has accomplished the feat since Sept. 29, 2021, against the Padres. Facing a position-player pitcher in Andrew Knizner in the seventh inning, the Dodgers tacked on another run to bring their total to 15.

“Just what I saw at the back half of that road trip, I do think that there’s a lot of good things that are happening,” Roberts said. “Tonight, certainly it all came together, and I can see us sustaining this for a bit.”

Even with a star-studded lineup, the Dodgers haven’t been able to put together a lot of long stretches where the offense has fully clicked. The bottom of the order has been an issue for most of the season. Lately, it’s been Betts and Ohtani who have been in a little bit of a funk.

But even through those spells, the Dodgers have maintained that a hot streak is nearby. On Tuesday, eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit, showing a glimpse of what it might look like when everything comes together.

“It’s awesome seeing everybody getting hits in a game and getting some production,” Hernández said. “Scoring runs is fun and we enjoy it. We’re having a great time right now.”