Cody Bellinger went 3-4 with two home runs and four RBIs as the Dodgers beat the Cleveland Indians 7-5. It was the fourth multi-homer game of his young career and he was the first to hit a home run off Cleveland’s reliever Andrew Miller this year. Clayton Kershaw pitched seven innings of two-run ball as he earned his ninth win on Tuesday night.
Bellinger was the first player to hit a home run off Miller since Cubs’ catcher David Ross hit one in game six of the World Series. Bellinger now has five home runs in his last three games.
“I had a lot of tips going into that at-bat,” Bellinger said. “We focused on them early before the game. We knew we were probably going to face him every game here. He’s got nasty stuff. I just tried not to do too much. He threw the slider. I just tried to get my barrel to it, and luckily it got out.”
Clayton Kershaw took the run support, but he truly would not have cared where it came from. After seven innings, Kershaw’s night was done and it looked like he would receive his fourth straight no-decision. He had held the Tribe to two runs but the Dodgers had scored only two runs as well.
Cody Bellinger led off the top of the eighth inning and he drove a slider from Miller over the wall in right-center field. The ball traveled 396′ and just made it over the glove of Daniel Robertson. The Dodgers mobbed Bellinger in the dugout and the only person happier than Cody was Clayton Kershaw.
Bellinger’s second home run tacked on insurance runs, but it turned out to be necessary to win the game. The Dodgers had runners on first and second with no outs and Bellinger hit a Boone Logan over the wall in right field. This ball was a no-doubter as it traveled 421 feet according to Statcast. The home run gave the Dodgers a 7-2 lead.
Clayton Kershaw did not throw his best start of the year as the Indians got runners on base in five innings. Kershaw worked around a leadoff double in the first inning, a two-out single in the second, and a leadoff walk in the sixth inning. The Indians scored a run in the third inning on an RBI single by Michael Brantley and tied the game in the fifth inning on a leadoff home run by Roberto Pérez.
Kershaw entered the game with a record of 90-0 in his career when he is given 4+ runs of support. Knowing this, the Dodgers started score early and Kershaw’s record with that much run support improved to 91-0.
Yasiel Puig started the scoring in the second inning with a two-run home run. Chris Taylor was on second base with two outs and Trevor Bauer threw a fastball over the heart of the plate. Hit it in the air in right-center field and the humid weather carried the ball over the wall for a two-run home run, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
After the Indians tied the game in the fifth inning, the game remained tied until the eighth inning. Cody Bellinger broke the tie with a solo homer against Andrew Miller. After Taylor and Logan Forsythe walked, Joc Pederson hit into what should have been an inning-ending double-play, but Jason Kipnis threw a low throw that Carlos Santana was unable to dig out of the dirt. Taylor scored as the ball got away and the Dodgers had a 4-2 lead.
Cody Bellinger extended the Dodgers’ lead in the ninth inning with a three-run home run. Corey Seager led off the inning with a single, then Justin Turner hit a single, bringing Bellinger to the plate with two on and no outs. The Indians brought in left-handed reliever Boone Logan to face the slugger. Bellinger hit a slider over the wall in right field, giving the Dodgers a 7-2 lead.
Chris Hatcher entered the game in the ninth inning to record the final three outs. He recorded the first two outs without any trouble, then allowed a single to Bradley Zimmer. Hatcher then struck out Lonnie Chisenhall, but Yasmani Grandal dropped the third strike. The pitch got away from him and Chisenhall made it to first base on a dropped third strike.
The play kept the inning alive for Daniel Robertson. With Kenley Jansen warming up in the bullpen, Hatcher threw a 2-2 fastball over the plate. Robertson drove it over the wall in left field for a three-run home run, making it a 7-5 game. The Dodgers brought Jansen in to record the final out, and he did it in style, striking out Jason Kipnis.
Keys To The Game:
Hitting The Lefty:
The Dodgers have struggled against left-handed pitching, but Cody Bellinger does not struggle against anybody. Bellinger’s first home run of the game came against the toughest reliever in the Major Leagues, Andrew Miller. Miller, a lefty, threw a slider that Bellinger was able to hit over the wall. In the ninth inning, Bellinger hit a slider from Logan over the wall in right field.
Dropped Third Strike:
In the ninth inning, Yasmani Grandal dropped the third strike against Lonnie Chisenhall. This allowed Chisenhall to reach base, extending the inning. If Grandal had caught the ball or been able to get Chisenhall out with a forceout, the game would have been over and the Dodgers would have won 7-2. Instead, Hatcher had to face Daniel Robertson, who hit a three-run home run.
The Big Man:
Dodgers fans have big expectations for Kenley Jansen, and luckily, he lives up to them. Jansen entered the game on Tuesday night with 43 strikeouts and no walks. When Jansen enters a game, you can count it finished. He needed only five pitches to finish the game and record his 12th save of the year. He finished the game with a strikeout so he now has 44 K’s and no walks.
Brandon McCarthy will pitch for the Dodgers in game two of the series and Corey Kluber will take the mound for the Tribe. McCarthy has allowed five runs over his last four starts and has a strikeout to walk ratio of 51:15 over 57 2/3 innings this year. Kluber is coming off his fifth win of the year when he allowed three runs over six innings against the White Sox. The game will start at 4:10 pm PT and be televised on SportsNet LA.