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Lux: 'When I hit it, I kind of knew I got it'

Dodgers top prospect belts first big league home run
@zachsilver
September 11, 2019

BALTIMORE -- In the months leading up to his eventual callup, Gavin Lux was teasing Dodgers fans with the power he was showcasing at the Minor League level. An OPS north of 1.000 and 26 homers across 113 games tend to have that effect. It took him a minute, but

BALTIMORE -- In the months leading up to his eventual callup, Gavin Lux was teasing Dodgers fans with the power he was showcasing at the Minor League level. An OPS north of 1.000 and 26 homers across 113 games tend to have that effect.

It took him a minute, but the Dodgers' top prospect finally showcased that power at the Major League level on Tuesday vs. the Orioles, hitting his first career home run an even 400 feet to right-center. That, along with finishing a triple shy of the cycle, helped pad what became a 7-3 victory on an evening when the club's seventh straight National League West was secured.

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"When I hit it, I kind of knew I got it," Lux said. "It's a little weight off your shoulders. You want to get it out of the way."

The first long ball came amid a trying start to Lux's big league career -- just one hit in his last 15 at-bats since the two-hit debut. As he not only looks to become the everyday second baseman but also crack his way onto the postseason roster, a conversation with manager Dave Roberts on Tuesday may ultimately be what sets him back on the right course: He's made his career on discipline and keen aggression at the plate. Go back out there and find it.

"Me and Roberts were talking, 'You seem super patient right now. Go in there and swing it, get after it,'" Lux recalled. "That kind of switched my mindset."

Most fortunate for Lux was that the ball landed in the glove of a Dodgers fan. He was able to get it back at the cost of a signed bat and some balls at the haggling of a Los Angeles clubhouse attendant.

What'll be most encouraging for Roberts is not the flash of power but the surrounding circumstances. The Orioles employed lefty Tanner Scott to face Lux and Joc Pederson in the fifth inning, and Lux, in just his fifth career big league plate appearance opposing a southpaw, finally broke through.

What's more, Lux was a late arrival to the lineup, being penciled in to start at second and bat ninth when Justin Turner was a late scratch with left ankle soreness.

"The rest of this season he's going to have to take at-bats against lefties since he's mostly not going to start against a left-hander," Roberts said Tuesday afternoon. "Just to kind of see how it looks, and I know he's going to put good at-bats together."

Early returns on that investment are backing up that belief.