LOS ANGELES (AP)Mookie Betts homered for the first time at Dodger Stadium, and Max Muncy, Will Smith and Edwin Rios went deep to help Los Angeles defeat the San Francisco Giants 7-2 on Friday night.
The Dodgers have won three in a row and eight of 10.
Betts was back in the lineup for the first time since injuring his left middle finger last Sunday in Phoenix. He didn’t waste any time, doubling in his first at-bat. He homered into the left-field pavilion in the third, tying the game 1-all. Two batters later, Justin Turner’s RBI single gave Los Angeles the lead for good, 2-1.
”Me sitting, they didn’t miss a beat at all,” Betts said of his teammates during his absence. He sat in the dugout when he missed four games to cheer on the club.
”There’s always a way to help so I’m going to find that way to help,” he said. ”Just trying to get in the mix to help the team win.”
Betts extended his hitting streak to eight games during which he’s batting .394 with three homers and six RBIs. He leads the team with nine extra-base hits (six doubles and three homers).
”I don’t pay attention to hot and cold streaks,” Betts said.
The Dodgers pummeled Jeff Samardzija in the fourth. Muncy homered to the right-field pavilion leading off. Smith slugged his second homer of the season – both against the Giants – that eluded a leaping Darin Ruf in left field, extending the lead to 5-1.
Los Angeles has homered in 12 of its first 14 games.
Rios homered into the Giants’ bullpen – also his first at Dodger Stadium – leading off the eighth against Wandy Peralta, making it 7-2.
Samardzija (0-2) struggled again in the fifth, giving up a leadoff walk to Cody Bellinger before hitting Turner and Kike Hernandez to load the bases with no outs. Sam Selman replaced Samardzija, who was charged with the run when Bellinger scored on Chris Taylor’s fielder’s choice groundout to third.
Betts went 2-for-4 with a walk.
”They’ve had a lot of trouble with left-handed pitchers in the past and I think a good way to fix that was to go find a Mookie Betts and put him in the middle of their lineup,” Samardzija said. ”They’re solid top to bottom and you need to go out there and have your best stuff against those guys.”
Samardzija gave up six runs (five earned) and seven hits in four innings. He struck out three and walked two. The right-hander’s ERA ballooned to 9.88. He’s allowed five-plus earned runs in all three of his starts.
”He had a little bit of a lack of fastball command,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. ”This is a very difficult lineup to get through even if you’re locating your pitches.”
Dylan Floro (1-0) got the victory, giving up one hit in one inning with two strikeouts.
Dodgers starter Julio Urias allowed one run and three hits in four innings. He struck out two and walked two. Jake McGee retired the side in order in the ninth.
The Giants’ runs came on Donovan Solano’s RBI single in the third that extended his hitting streak to 12 games and Wilmer Flores’ homer that struck a female cardboard cutout’s face in left field in the sixth.
Giants: Kapler traded text messages with OF prospect Hunter Bishop, who is eager to get going at the club’s alternate site in Sacramento after being delayed because of a positive test for the coronavirus. ”Bishop is chomping at the bit,” Kapler said of the 10th overall draft pick last year. … LHP Drew Smyly, on the IL with an index finger strain in his throwing hand, was examined by hand specialist Dr. Scott Hansen and is progressing well. Smyly will be re-evaluated after the current 10-game trip. … RHP Reyes Moronta (shoulder strain) will begin a throwing program at Sacramento.
Dodgers: SS Corey Seager left the game in the third with low back discomfort after injuring himself diving to his backhand side off the bat of Chadwick Tromp. He was already bothered by quad tightness. Seager was getting tests after the game and Roberts said it was ”probably fair” to say he wouldn’t play Saturday. Seager’s eight-game hitting streak ended.
The Giants committed their MLB-leading 18th error in the third. A ball hit by Bellinger took a weird bounce just out of left fielder Ruf’s reach and he had to chase the ball down, giving Bellinger time to take second on the miscue.
Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly, appealing an eight-game suspension for throwing at multiple Houston Astros players, struck home plate umpire Jim Reynolds in the left shoulder in the eighth. Catcher Will Smith never got his glove up to grab the ball. Reynolds winced and then walked out to Kelly with a new ball.
Turner was hit by a pitch in the fifth, making him the Dodgers’ career leader with 75.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
As a precaution, Giants OF Steven Duggar and RHP Andrew Triggs opted to drive separately in rental cars from Los Angeles to report to Sacramento rather than receive a ride from a professional driver.
AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.
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