Dodgers’ right fielder Mookie Betts joined elite company in MLB history by notching his sixth career three-homerun game at 27 years old, as he tied Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa. With an impressive offensive display from the entire Dodgers starting lineup and bullpen, Los Angeles defeated the Padres 11-2.
“We do realize how special of a player he is, but to see it on a nightly basis is something we don’t take for granted,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He just makes everyone around him better.”
Betts went 4-for-4 with five RBIs and was hit by a pitch in the leadoff spot. He discussed feeling most comfortable as the leadoff hitter, though Roberts has not committed to locking him in the spot permanently.
“I’ve been doing it my whole life so I think I’m just comfortable there,” commented Betts. “It’s one of those things where you only leadoff once, but I enjoy just getting things started, creating havoc on the base pass. Trying to score one in the first, so I definitely take pride in doing that.”
Julio Urias, who celebrated his 24th birthday just a day earlier, was the Dodgers’ starting pitcher. He got off to a rocky start after giving up two solo home runs at the top of the first inning. The Padres struck early with two back-to-back home runs by Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer.
“It might sound funny, but I like the fact that they did that to me early because I was able to wake up,” said Urias.
Urias revealed he worked on his mechanics with pitching coaches and it paid off. Those would be the only runs Urias gave up on the night. From there, it was all Dodgers offense pitching against Padres’ Chris Paddack.
“I was attacking batters and I really liked the way I worked tonight,” Urias added.
With the Dodgers first at-bat, Betts got on base after being hit and Corey Seager brought them both home as he followed up with a double RBI. Seager, who was held out of the lineup for the last five games due to back discomfort, tied the game at 2-2.
“It’s always a battle when you come back whether it’s too early, too slow. You want it to be just right. I felt really good tonight.
AJ Pollock, who had a dynamic catch at the wall on defense early, followed up with a home run that landed more than halfway up the pavilion in left field at the bottom of the first inning to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.
Seager flew out to Padres’ right fielder Wil Myers at the bottom of the second inning. Betts was able to add two more to the Dodgers lead with a two-run dinger to make it 5-2.
Pollock continued his hot streak with an RBI double as Justin Turner ran home at the bottom of the third. The great offense continued for the Dodgers as Austin Barnes and Mookie Betts completed the Dodgers’ first back-to-back homers of the 2020 season to take a 9-2 lead at the bottom of the fourth inning.
With this win, the Dodgers improved to first place in the NL West. Los Angeles has not lost a series all season and came back from being down 2-0 in the series versus the Padres to split the series 2-2 and improve to 13-7 on the season.
The Dodgers return to action on Friday as the team begins the freeway series matchup against the crosstown Angels. Roberts said there is a “very good possibility” Betts will be back in the leadoff spot in the Angels series. Wherever Betts is in the lineup, he is willing to do whatever it takes to hold up the trophy at the end of the season.
“To see some success definitely a sigh of relief, but I know I have a lot more work to do,” said Betts. “It’s a long season. Obviously, we want to win a World Series so I’m working just to do that.”