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Dodgers 1st team ever to win 3 in row THIS WAY

Smith joins Beaty, Verdugo as weekend walk-off heroes vs. Rockies
@kengurnick
June 23, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Kyle Garlick is on the clock, now that Will Smith has followed Matt Beaty and Alex Verdugo in a historic rookie walk-off weekend. Smith, recalled from Triple-A Sunday morning, spent the late afternoon in the daily Gatorade hero shower after launching a three-run pinch-hit blast off Scott

LOS ANGELES -- Kyle Garlick is on the clock, now that Will Smith has followed Matt Beaty and Alex Verdugo in a historic rookie walk-off weekend.

Smith, recalled from Triple-A Sunday morning, spent the late afternoon in the daily Gatorade hero shower after launching a three-run pinch-hit blast off Scott Oberg with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-3 win and a stunning sweep of the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

The milestone numbers just keep on coming. MLB had never seen back-to-back rookie walk-off home runs until Saturday, and now the Dodgers have three. The last time they had three consecutive walk-off wins was 2010.

Box score

“It was cool to go one, two, three. It’s sick,” said Smith, who joined fellow rookies Beaty (Friday) and Verdugo (Saturday) in devastating the Rockies. “We were saying it’ll probably never be broken again.”

Garlick is the only other rookie on the club, which completed a 9-2 homestand with an 11th-straight victory over Colorado to extend its lead in the National League West to 13 games and tie for the best start in Los Angeles history (54-25). Relievers were credited with five of the nine victories.

According to manager Dave Roberts, the weekend’s historic results say a lot about the Dodgers as an opponent.

“It’s the confidence we have that we’re never out of it as long as there are still outs on the board,” said Roberts. “And it doesn’t matter who’s in that spot, we feel it’s the right person. The other team knows that when it gets late, they better execute, because if they don’t there’s a chance they can give the game away.”

Veteran Russell Martin said the weekend says a lot about the Dodgers’ player-development system.

“I was wearing a ‘Let the Kids Play’ T-shirt the other day and that’s why we wear them, because they’re good,” said Martin. “I recognize the quality and depth on this team. There’s a lot of young talent. They’re well prepared. You can tell they’ve been taught the right things coming up. Not seeing just one or two, but every single guy we see is doing things properly with a professional approach at the plate. Their swing mechanics are good. Give credit to the organization.”

Roberts recounted the winning inning, which began with Beaty beating out an infield single. Chris Taylor, whose pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh inning made the comeback possible, struck out for the second out, but an Oberg wild pitch during the at-bat allowed Beaty to advance into scoring position.

Colorado manager Bud Black held a long meeting on the mound, after which Martin was walked intentionally, the Rockies choosing for Oberg to face Smith, who had been on a home run tear for Oklahoma City. Oberg’s first slider was in the dirt, his second was middle-in and up. Smith sent it high toward right-center and the ball kept carrying over the fence. Neither Roberts nor Smith was confident the ball was out when struck.

“I definitely knew there was pull power [in Smith],” said Roberts. “To carry the right-center field, with the ball in on you, that’s a different level of strength. He’s really worked with his swing mechanics during the offseason.”

“I’ve always had a little power that way,” said Smith. “I feel like my swing is dialed in right now.”

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.