LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Wednesday night went back to basics, hitting the baseball as far as they could.They didn't slug seven homers like on Sunday, but three were enough, as Player Page for Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger powered a 7-5 win over the Cubs and
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Wednesday night went back to basics, hitting the baseball as far as they could.
They didn't slug seven homers like on Sunday, but three were enough, as Player Page for Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger powered a 7-5 win over the Cubs and gave the Dodgers 51 homers in June, two shy of the franchise record for homers in a single month set last June, with three games left to break it. The MLB record is 58.
"It's scary facing us, I think," said Bellinger, who has four homers in the last six games. "We're clicking right now. It's fun to be a part of."
The Dodgers already have six players with at least 10 home runs each. Bellinger and Muncy are tied for the club lead with 16, Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernandez have 13 and Pederson and Yasmani Grandal have 11. Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor are each one short of double figures.
"Everyone just passes the baton, works the at-bats, gets the pitchers working and we are able to capitalize on mistakes," said Pederson.
It's getting to the point where manager Dave Roberts just expects the ball to fly every game.
"I sort of do," Roberts said. "It's been a large enough sample, the way our offense has been performing, we hit the ball out of the ballpark. This is our roster, these are our guys and we have to give them the best chance to do what they do well. When there's a mistake made in the strike zone, we do a good job of hitting the ball hard."
It was an impressive rebound from Tuesday night's homerless loss, benefitting starting pitcher Alex Wood, who earned his third consecutive victory even after spotting Chicago a first-inning lead on Willson Contreras' two-run homer. Wood went seven innings, his longest start since an eight-inning season debut on March 30.
And the Dodgers didn't even need Kemp, who was serving his one-game suspension for a June 13 shoving match with Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos.
Wood fell victim early to the curse of Javier Baez, whose fourth extra-base hit of the series was a two-out double to right-center in the first inning. Then Wood's 1-2 curveball at the feet of Contreras was golfed around the foul pole and into the left-field box seats for a 2-0 Cubs lead.
"It was a really good pitch. I was shocked he put that swing on it," said Wood.
But Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks couldn't protect the lead for even a half-inning. Muncy homered to center, Justin Turner walked, Bellinger singled and Grandal doubled home two, his first RBIs since June 12.
• Muncy's HR dings Almora on ricochet
The Dodgers continued to whack Hendricks in the second inning. Wood lined a single to left field and Pederson slugged his 10th homer in June. Muncy walked on four pitches, Turner singled and Hernandez singled home Muncy. Hendricks was removed after 2 2/3 innings, his shortest start since 2016.
The Cubs scored a third run on a wild play in the fifth, a roller by Jason Heyward down the first-base line with two out and Ian Happ on second base. Wood glove-flipped the ball toward first, but it got past Muncy as his glove was stepped on, giving Happ enough time to race home and slide under Grandal's tag on a close play. A two-run double by Contreras (four RBIs on the night) off Scott Alexander in the eighth cut the margin to 6-5.
With the tying run on third base in the eighth, Kenley Jansen came on for a four-out save and No. 21 on the season, with Bellinger's home run in the bottom of the inning providing an insurance run.
Pederson's home run came on a pitch that was the highest (3.77 feet off the ground at contact) hit for a home run by the Dodgers this season and second-highest of Pederson's career, according to Statcast™.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
There was an interesting sequence between Grandal and home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor in the bottom of the fourth inning. Grandal thought strike two was ball four, dropped his bat and started to first but had to come back. Then he got ball four and aggressively flipped his bat down and took his base. Tichenor stared him down, then grab the bat and chucked it back to the Dodgers' dugout. Between innings, Roberts talked it over with Tichenor and crew chief Bill Miller.
HE SAID IT
"Clayton [Kershaw] got my first hit of the year authenticated. I'm guessing it was him that did it. It's nice to get on the board." -- Wood, on his second-inning single giving him an .038 batting average for the season
In his second start off the disabled list, Kershaw gets the call for Thursday's 12:10 p.m. PT series finale against the Cubs and Jose Quintana. Five days ago, Kershaw retired the first four Mets batters, but six of the next 10 reached base.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.