LOS ANGELES -- The more Dave Roberts sees of Kiké Hernandez, the more he wants him in the lineup somewhere."I try to figure out ways to get him in there every single night," the manager said after Hernandez stole the spotlight from top prospectWalker Buehler's first start, helping the Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- The more Dave Roberts sees of Kiké Hernandez, the more he wants him in the lineup somewhere.
"I try to figure out ways to get him in there every single night," the manager said after Hernandez stole the spotlight from top prospectWalker Buehler's first start, helping the Dodgers pull out a 2-1 win over the Marlins on Monday night.
Hernandez, a former Marlin, homered for the second time in three games and finished with three hits, including a bunt single in the game-winning eighth-inning rally. He also robbed the Marlins of two hits in only his second start of the season at shortstop in place of a resting Corey Seager.
"Walker threw well," said Roberts, "but I think tonight was Kiké's night. Defensively, hitting a homer, getting the bunt down was huge. Really big night for him."
Hernandez led off the fourth inning with a homer off Marlins starter Jarlin Garcia.
"I looked at scoreboard in the fourth and saw we didn't have hits," said Hernandez. "We were aware Garcia gave up only one hit his last two starts and looked at the pitch count, not many. So batting leadoff, I took a team at-bat, trying to see as many pitches as I can, got deep in the count, two strikes, just trying to stay alive, hoping to foul off a few, I did one. He threw a fastball in and I just reacted to it, and that's what I did."
Hernandez singled in the seventh, then followed Chris Taylor's leadoff double in the eighth with a bunt so fine that pitcher Kyle Barraclough made no throw after fielding it. Cody Bellinger followed with a sacrifice lineout that scored Taylor with the winning run.
"I knew it was a good bunt," said Hernandez. "I thought the throw would go to third. I haven't laid down too many bunts in my career. It felt good."
On defense, Hernandez has already started at all four infield positions, but considers himself a shortstop first.
"I take a lot of pride in my defense, playing all over, but I have a lot of fun playing up the middle, short, second, it doesn't matter," he said. "If the ball gets near me, I expect to make a play. The first one [Miguel Rojas' bouncer into the hole], one of those sliding plays, but routine. The second one [Starlin Castro's bouncer up the middle], don't ask me how I made it, I have no idea. Didn't know where I threw it and heard the crowd. No idea how."
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.