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Hernandez powers Dodgers with late homer

Three-run jack in 9th sinks Brewers in Machado's LA debut
July 20, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- The Manny Machado era for the Dodgers is off to a winning start.Machado, acquired from the Orioles on Wednesday, reached base four times in his Los Angeles debut, while Enrique Hernandez clubbed a three-run homer in a 6-4 victory over the Brewers to open the second half on

MILWAUKEE -- The Manny Machado era for the Dodgers is off to a winning start.
Machado, acquired from the Orioles on Wednesday, reached base four times in his Los Angeles debut, while Enrique Hernandez clubbed a three-run homer in a 6-4 victory over the Brewers to open the second half on Friday night at Miller Park.
Batting in the two-hole, Machado singled to the right side in his first at-bat in the first inning off Brewers starter Wade Miley, and he reached base three more times. It was also the first time Machado experienced a win on the road since June 23.
"It was awesome," Machado said. "It was amazing to go out there and put on that uniform. Just happy to be here with these guys: a great group, great team, great leadership."

While Machado stole the spotlight, Hernandez provided the highlights as the Dodgers moved to a 1 1/2-game lead over the D-backs, who dropped an 11-10 decision to the Rockies on Friday night, in the National League West race.
Hernandez, from center field, made an unassisted putout on Keon Broxton's baserunning gaffe in the fifth inning, saving what would have been the go-ahead run when Christian Yelich slapped a double down the right-field line later in the frame.
"Kike has really good feel around the diamond, and that play to keep his head up and get the trail runner, that was a big out," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
With Los Angeles up, 3-2, in the ninth, Hernandez provided insurance with a three-run homer off Brandon Woodruff. The blast was huge as Yelich drove in two more runs with a triple in the bottom half of the frame.
"It was just a testament to compete," Roberts said. "He didn't have good at-bats prior, and he couldn't figure out Miley early with the cutter in on him. ... But that was a big hit. [Hernandez] has really come on against right-handed pitching."
The team effort was completed on the mound by Rich Hill, who allowed one run and struck out nine over six innings. Hill was aided by Hernandez's play in center and a Matt Kemp outfield assist, but he still felt confident in his pitches in his first start back from a brief stint in the bullpen.

"[Catcher Austin Barnes] did a great job behind the dish, just with his game-calling and calling for the curveball at any time today was working really well," Hill said. "I love pitching here, the mound is great, it's just a great backdrop."
But while Hill, Hernandez and third baseman Player Page for Max Muncy -- who reached base four times and hit an RBI double -- had big nights, the Dodgers' new shortstop is being counted on to have a big second half.
"I thought he fit in great, even before the game, talking, laughing in the food room with guys," Roberts said. "He was on the bench watching and talking to [hitting coach Turner Ward]. I thought today for a guy that's known no other organization than the Baltimore Orioles, I think that he is as comfortable as we would hope."
A pair of baserunning gaffes by the Brewers and sharp plays by the Dodgers' outfield ended a fifth-inning threat for Milwaukee. Manny Pina singled and Broxton walked to open the frame against Hill, before Miley slapped a butcher-boy single toward a hole between second and third. After Hernandez scooped the ball in center, Broxton was caught between second and third and was tagged out by Hernandez, while Pina stayed put at third base. More >

"The first mistake Keon makes, that's one we can't make," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We have to keep our head up and be aware of what's going on ahead of us."
With runners on the corners and one out, Yelich doubled down the right-field line, scoring Pina. Brewers third-base coach Ed Sedar sent Miley home, but he was caught at the plate after the relay from John Forsythe to Barnes, ending the inning with the game tied at 1.

"[Hill] left the first-pitch curveball up to Yelich," Roberts said, "but Kemp getting the ball in to Forsythe and that relay, Barnes made a nice tag. That proved to be a big run."
"Going seven years putting on the same uniform, it was always an honor. Finally got traded, everything was behind me now, and I was able to put on a new uniform for the first time, and it felt great. The blue looks really good on me; I was a little nervous about it." -- Machado, on whether he had any nerves before his Dodgers debut
The Brewers briefly delayed the Dodgers' go-ahead rally in the seventh inning thanks to a Broxton-to-Hernan Perez-to-Pina relay on Chase Utley's pinch-hit double to cut down Yasmani Grandal trying to score from first base in a 1-1 game. Roberts requested a pair of reviews -- both of the call itself, and to examine whether Pina violated the blocking rule at home plate. After a brief review, the out call was confirmed.

Left-hander Clayton Kershaw (3-4, 2.74) will get the start as the Dodgers continue their series against the Brewers at 4:10 p.m. PT on Saturday at Miller Park. Kershaw, who didn't make the All-Star team for the first time in seven years, will look to even his record to .500 after earning a no-decision against the Angels his last time out on Sunday. Right-hander Chase Anderson (6-7, 3.78 ERA) starts for Milwaukee.

Stephen Cohn is a reporter for based in Milwaukee.