ARLINGTON -- The Dodgers know they just beat up a pair of last-place teams for a five-game win streak and they're fine with that. They're one back of the National League West lead with a four-game showdown against first-place Arizona at hand and every win counts the same."No doubt, our
ARLINGTON -- The Dodgers know they just beat up a pair of last-place teams for a five-game win streak and they're fine with that. They're one back of the National League West lead with a four-game showdown against first-place Arizona at hand and every win counts the same.
"No doubt, our guys understood the schedule and what's at stake," manager Dave Roberts said after Kenta Maeda held on to save a 3-1 win over the Rangers.
Home runs by Cody Bellinger, Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal, along with a Yasiel Puig triple, were the only Dodgers hits, the first time in MLB history a team had three homers, a triple and no doubles or singles.
• Fan nabs both Bellinger, Machado HR balls
Beyond that oddity, Alex Wood tossed seven scoreless innings for his first win in a month, coming off his shortest start of the year with the longest start since he went eight innings in his first start March 30.
"You're at the point in the year where you need to win the games you're supposed to win," said Wood. "It's really nice for us to string five together like we have, especially with us about to play a club we've struggled against in Arizona. Those five games came at the right time and we're pretty excited to go home and see these D-backs again. We saw them so much in such a short span and it was when we weren't playing so well."
The Dodgers are 4-8 against Arizona this year, but the teams last played May 9. That Dodgers team didn't have Machado, who slugged his eighth homer as a Dodger and third in the last four games. Bellinger added his 21st and Grandal his 22nd.
Wood took that offense and turned it into a seventh win in his last eight decisions. He scattered four hits and struck out five with two walks. He's 8-6 with a 3.42 ERA on the season.
In 25 August games, Dodgers starters are 8-3 with a 2.43 ERA, the lowest ERA in the league in that span.
"It starts with us," Wood said of the starters. "At this point in the year, you play a lot of good teams against a lot of good pitching and you want to come out and put zeros up and give our guys a chance to score first and hold on."
"They have been strong," he said of the starters. "They've allowed us to stay in each game and we're in the midst of the longest winning streak all year and that's directly related to the starting pitching."
With three homers, the Dodgers added to their league-leading total of 186 and have 31 in Interleague Play, a franchise record.
All three were hit to center field, with Bellinger and Machado's going to the batter's eye in dead center. The Statcast™ distance was projected at 422 feet for Machado, 414 for Grandal and 412 for Bellinger.
"We didn't really do anything different, it's a matter of producing on the field," Bellinger said of the team's current surge. "It was just a matter of time before the talent takes over."
Bellinger's home run was the 60th of his career, reaching that mark in game No. 264, the fastest ever for a Dodger and besting Mike Piazza (272 games). It was his sixth homer off a left-handed pitcher this year.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The biggest moment for the Dodgers was the last one. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, runners on the corners after a four-pitch walk to pinch-hitter Joey Gallo, Maeda got Ronald Guzman to bounce out sharply to Bellinger. It was Maeda's first save of the year and second of his career. More >
The Dodgers finished Interleague Play this year 12-8, including 5-0 against the Rangers.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
On his triple, Puig went home to third in 11.02 seconds, the second-fastest time for a Dodgers player since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015 (only one faster was Carl Crawford's 10.72 seconds on April 27, 2015). Puig's sprint speed was 29.5 feet per second, near the elite mark of 30 feet per second.
HE SAID IT
"Where Belly (Bellinger) was at with that guy, I thought it was a heads-up play and a good risk. It didn't work out, but I appreciate the effort." -- Roberts on Puig's attempt to steal home with an 0-2 count and two outs in the seventh inning.
The Dodgers return home Thursday night to begin a crucial series against Arizona, with Rich Hill getting the start at 7:10 p.m. PT. Hill dominated the Padres in his last start, striking out eight in six scoreless innings. He's started twice against Arizona this year, allowing 12 earned runs and five homers in nine innings for a 2.00 WHIP. The D-backs will counter with lefty Robbie Ray.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.