Offensive help is on the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers, which is good news for Max Muncy, who has been carrying the team of late.
The Dodgers are expecting the return of former MVP and Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger for Saturday’s home game against the San Francisco Giants.
The roster move will give the Dodgers a lift after they fell to the Giants 8-5 on Friday, the first time in five games this season they lost to their National League West rival.
The Dodgers’ Austin Barnes tied the game at 5-5 on a three-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning. Albert Pujols then appeared to win it on his own homer, but Giants right-fielder Mike Tauchman reached over the wall to make the catch and send the game into extra innings.
The Giants won it on an RBI single from LaMonte Wade Jr. in the 10th, followed by a two-run double from Evan Longoria. San Francisco scored all three runs in the frame against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who had not given up multiple earned runs in an outing this season.
Saturday will be Bellinger’s first home game of the season after he came away with a hairline fracture in his right leg at Oakland on April 5 in the fifth game of the season after he was inadvertently kicked by A’s pitcher Reymin Guduan on a play at first base.
“I expect (Bellinger) to be in there Saturday, Sunday and then we’ll kind of see where he’s at come Monday,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But yeah, he’ll be in there … in center field.”
The Dodgers, who also have been without shortstop Corey Seager (hand), have been leaning on the offensive exploits of Muncy.
Heading into Friday’s game, Muncy was batting .351 in May with eight home runs and 16 RBIs. But the Giants kept him hitless in five trips to the plate Friday. He was 0-for-4 with a walk, and it was the first time in the past four games against the Giants that Muncy did not hit a home run.
Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias (7-1, 3.03 ERA) will make his second consecutive start against the Giants. He took a perfect game into the sixth inning Sunday at San Francisco and helped himself at the plate with three RBIs in his first career victory against the Giants.
In 16 appearances (10 starts) against the Giants, Urias is 1-2 with a 2.22 ERA.
The Giants will counter with right-hander Logan Webb (3-3, 4.09), who will be making his first start since May 17 when he went six scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds in a victory. Webb was on the injured list with a mild shoulder strain.
In three career starts against the Dodgers, Webb is 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA.
After losing their first four games of the season against the Dodgers, the Giants were looking for a spark and got it Saturday with a tie-breaking three-run home run in the eighth inning from Buster Posey.
The eight runs gave the Giants their highest scoring game at Los Angeles since also scoring eight in a loss on June 20, 2019.
“We just have to be better,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s not going to get any easier for us, so we’re going to have to make small adjustments along the way. There aren’t big adjustments to make. We’ll trust that those adjustments will turn into some wins here.”
–Field Level Media