Rich Hill pitched five innings of one-run ball in which he allowed two hits and walked only two as the Dodgers beat the Cardinals 5-1. The Dodgers bats stayed hot on Monday afternoon as Chase Utley, Cody Bellinger, and Logan Forsythe hit solo home runs in their fifth straight victory.
Rich Hill seemed like a different pitcher than the last time he pitched when he allowed five runs over four innings with seven walks against the Cardinals. Usually, Hill is bouncing around on the mound and changing arm angles, but on Monday he was not doing anything weird. Hill was focusing on executing pitches and hitting the strike zone, something was unable to do last Thursday.
The mechanical changes paid off when he pitched five innings and allowed only one run. The Cardinals were only able to work two walks against Hill, who struck out four Cardinals. The Cardinals got him into a jam in the fifth inning, but he remained calm and used a double-play and a pop out in foul territory to get out of the inning unharmed.
In the fourth inning, Hill began to look like the Rich Hill from last Thursday, but he pulled himself together and allowed only one run. After recording the first out of the inning, Hill walked Tommy Pham. He then tried to pick-off Pham over and over but on the fourth attempt, Adrián González lost the ball. It got away and Pham moved to second base. Hill then hit Matt Carpenter with a pitch, putting runners on first and second. The Cardinals then executed a double steal that put runners on second and third for Jedd Gyorko. Gyorko got a pitch that he drove to left field. Bellinger caught the ball, but Pham tagged up and scored, making it a 3-1 game.
The Dodgers scored two runs off of Mike Leake in the third inning and Los Angeles never looked back. Chase Utley, who has been red-hot this month, led off with a solo home run. Leake threw Utley a changeup and the veteran batter drove it over the wall in right field. I’m not sure where it landed because the cameraman lost the ball, but I know that it landed over the wall and the Dodgers had a 1-0 lead. Yasiel Puig then singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hill. After Leake got Forsythe to line out, Corey Seager hit a ground ball that somehow made it’s way to center field. Puig scored and the Dodgers had a 2-0 lead.
Cody Bellinger got in on the action in the fourth inning with his eleventh home run of his Major League career. With two outs, Leake threw Bellinger a 3-0 sinker that didn’t sink. The Dodgers had given Bellinger the green light and he hit a missile into the seats in right field. The home run gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead and Cody Bellinger had his eleventh home run just 31 games.
The Dodgers continued to add to their lead in the seventh inning off of Leake. Chris Taylor led off with a walk before Bellinger popped out. Utley then came to the plate and hit a single into right field. Taylor decided to test the arm of Jose Martinez, going first to third. The throw from Martinez was offline and Taylor’s gamble paid off, putting runners on the corners for Puig. With Leake ahead in the count 0-2, Puig hit a low cutter into left field. Pham caught it awkwardly and Taylor tagged up and scored, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
The Dodgers had not finished scoring for one reason, Logan Forsythe had not hit a home run so far this year. That changed in the eighth inning when Forsythe was leading off against Kevin Siegrist. With no balls and one strike, Siegrist threw a fastball high and in. Forsythe turned on it and drove it over the Dodgers bullpen in left field. It was his first home run as a Dodgers and it gave the Dodgers a comfortable 5-1 lead.
Keys To The Game:
Failure To Capitalize:
The Cardinals had their share of chances to score against Rich Hill and the Dodgers, but they were only able to score on run. In the third inning, Jedd Gyorko missed a three-run home run by about six feet and he missed a two-run double by a matter of feet as well. Instead, Cody Bellinger caught it and Gyorko had to settle for a sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals also had Hill in trouble in the fifth inning, but with runners on first and second, Jose Martinez grounded into a double play. Mike Leake then walked, but Hill got Dexter Fowler to pop out weakly in foul territory.
Cody Does It All:
You already saw the video of Cody Bellinger’s home run, and if you didn’t, I would recommend that you take a look at it. Bellinger was not content with extending the Dodgers lead, he felt the need to hold the Cardinals to one run. In the seventh inning, Paul DeJong hit a double with one out off of Sergio Romo. Jose Martinez hit a ground ball to shortstop that Corey Seager should have fielded cleanly and thrown him out. The ball, however, ricocheted off of Seager’s glove and into left field. DeJong was sent home to score, but Bellinger hustled in from left field and threw DeJong out at the plate.
Kenta Maeda will look to extend the Dodgers’ five-game winning streak and Michael Wacha will take the mound for the Cardinals. Maeda will look to pitch even better than he did in his last start where he allowed three runs over five innings. Wacha will look to avenge his last start where he allowed six runs over four innings against the Dodgers. The game will start at 4:05 pm PT and be televised on SportsNet LA and ESPN.