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Dodgers' power continues September surge

LA enters Tuesday leading MLB in HRs this month
September 18, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers might vary their lineup on a nightly basis, yet one thing remains the same: The home runs keep coming.The major suppliers of late have been Yasiel Puig, the reigning National League Player of the Week, and Joc Pederson, who is the early leader for this

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers might vary their lineup on a nightly basis, yet one thing remains the same: The home runs keep coming.
The major suppliers of late have been Yasiel Puig, the reigning National League Player of the Week, and Joc Pederson, who is the early leader for this week's honor. That duo has given the Dodgers seven home runs in the previous four games, before Tuesday.

That outburst has helped the Dodgers take the Major League lead for home runs in September, heading into the middle game of the series against the Rockies. The Dodgers had gone deep 26 times this month entering Tuesday, as the major component to the team's offensive success has been producing when the club needs it most.
They were already the NL leaders in home runs this season with 212 and it does not seem likely another NL team will overtake them. The Brewers had the second-most home runs in the NL and they were still 17 behind the Dodgers with a week and a half remaining in the regular season. The Yankees lead baseball with 241 homers.
"It's a lot of fun and it's like they always say: Hitting is contagious," said Player Page for Max Muncy, who leads the Dodgers with 33 home runs. "I feel like the team is in a good spot right now in the right spot. We have big games coming up and we feel like we can keep going."

Pederson and Muncy hit home runs in Monday's 8-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies, yet both were out of the lineup Tuesday against Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland.
Manager Dave Roberts used an all-right-handed lineup against Freeland, a luxury that comes with the team's deep roster. And while left-handed pitching has been an issue for the Dodgers at certain times this season, Roberts is confident playing the percentages now.
"You look at the track records of the guys who have handled left-handed pitching, it's cyclical," Roberts said. "We struggled early, but I think for me, guys are taking much better at-bats against left-handers."
Many of the players at Roberts' disposal have a track record for getting the job done.
"You add David Freese to the mix, that's a big coup," Roberts said. "I expect Austin [Barnes] to continue to get better. [Brian] Dozier has traditionally hit left-handed pitching, so he's getting on track. I like his swings in the last week. I think we are definitely equipped to hit a left-hander."

The psychological damage the Dodgers' power swings can deliver seems tangible. Pederson led off Monday's game with a home run and the Dodgers rolled to the victory. When they score first, the Dodgers are 66-25 this season.
"You don't really need to explain it, [Pederson] gets the team going, and when he gets going, everyone gets going," Muncy said.
Dodgers honor Lux, Gonsolin
The Dodgers had a pregame ceremony Tuesday to honor their Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year, shortstop Gavin Lux, and their Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year, right-hander Tony Gonsolin. Both players played a key role in helping Double-A Tulsa to the Texas League title.
Lux, a first-round pick in 2016, had a solid season at Class A Rancho Cucamonga and was an All-Star in the California League after finishing third in the league with a .324 batting average and a .520 slugging percentage. He was promoted to Tulsa and again batted .324 with four home runs in 28 games.

Gonsolin, a ninth-round pick in 2016, also split his season between Rancho Cucamonga and Tulsa. He was a combined 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA over 128 innings. After his promotion, he went 6-0 with Tulsa, posting a 2.44 ERA, while opponents hit .203 against him.
Chargois not done yet
Dodgers right-hander JT Chargois has not pitched in a game since Aug. 20 because of nerve irritation in his neck, but the Dodgers have not pulled the plug on his season.
Roberts said Tuesday he hopes Chargois will be back at some point over the last 11 games. He is currently rehabbing at the team's Spring Training facility in Arizona.
Chargois has appeared in 38 games, posting a 3.45 ERA over 31 1/3 innings.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.