Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Hernandez launches 6th homer in last 13 games

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The calendar has officially flipped to summer, and Kiké Hernandez's bat has caught fire.

The Dodgers infielder continued his contribution to the club's torrid month, launching a home run off Cubs rookie Duane Underwood Jr. in the second inning of Monday's 2-1 win at Dodger Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- The calendar has officially flipped to summer, and Kiké Hernandez's bat has caught fire.

The Dodgers infielder continued his contribution to the club's torrid month, launching a home run off Cubs rookie Duane Underwood Jr. in the second inning of Monday's 2-1 win at Dodger Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

On Sunday, Hernandez hit two of the Dodgers' seven solo homers in their 8-7 victory over the Mets.

Video: LAD@NYM: Dodgers hit 7 solo home runs vs. the Mets

Hernandez's dinger in Monday's series opener -- which raced out of the park at an exit velocity of 106.5 mph, per Statcast™ -- was his sixth home run in his last 13 games. He hit seven through his first 57 games this season.

It's his 13th overall, a new career high.

"Kiké for us, on this run has been as valuable -- if not more valuable -- than anyone on our club," manager Dave Roberts said.

Roberts credits an improved approach against right-handed pitching for Hernandez's success. Last year, Hernandez batted just .159 against righties, but entered Monday hitting .220 for the season.

"For him, it's hard to get him out the lineup now," Roberts said. "The defense has never been in question. He's always hit left-handed pitching, but the mechanical approach, adjustment against right-handed pitching -- that, for me, has been the game-changer. He's hitting good right-handed pitching. He's hitting homers. He's going the other way when he needs to. He's staying away from the punch."

Injuries to members of the Dodgers' starting lineup -- and Hernandez's ability to play anywhere on the field -- have enabled him to earn more playing time.

"Baseball is all about feel and about timing," Hernandez said, "and when you're playing like every other night or once every three days, it's hard to stay feeling good. Luckily, I've been staying in there, and hopefully I can ride it out as long as I can."

Video: CHC@LAD: Taylor jacks solo HR to straightaway center

Hernandez is one of many Dodgers who've swung the bat well in June. Chris Taylor's pinch-hit solo shot in the eighth marked the club's league-leading 104th homer this year, and their MLB-best 48th this month.

"We have some many guys who've contributed this year," Roberts said. "[Guys] that we have counted on, that we haven't counted on, that have picked up others."

The Dodgers' hot streak has them 1 1/2 games behind the first-place D-backs in the National League West race, but players aren't getting too caught up in their recent run, insisting they're maintaining focus.

"It's going well right now," Hernandez said. "I'm not trying to think too much about it. I'm just trying to keep doing what I'm doing, and I'm happy that I can help my team win."

Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Enrique Hernandez