Yasiel Puig followed up his Friday night two-homer game by hitting three home runs and driving in seven runs on Saturday afternoon, leading the Dodgers to a 17-4 rout of the Cardinals. Cody Bellinger also had a big game, going 3-5 with a home run and six RBI.
With the win, the Dodgers took sole possession of the second wild-card spot. They now lead the Cardinals in that race by one game. Later in the day, the Giants beat the Rockies, putting the Dodgers in sole possession of first place in the NL West. There are 13 games left in the regular season.
The Dodgers started Saturday’s game with a bang when Manny Machado hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Cardinals’ starter, John Gant threw a fastball right down the middle. Once Machado hit it, there was nothing anyone could do except watch him run the bases.
As I mentioned earlier, Puig had a big game on Saturday night, hitting two home runs in the Dodgers’ 3-0 win. Puig’s magic continued to Saturday afternoon when his weekend got even better. It all started in the fourth inning when he attacked a first-pitch fastball. The ball left the stadium in a hurry, landing in the left-center field seats.
Just when it was seeming like the Dodgers would have a cakewalk, Rich Hill absolutely lost it in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, he walked three consecutive batters to load the bases. Then, after getting two strikes on Patrick Wisdom, he hung a curveball. Wisdom crushed it, hitting a no-doubt Grand Slam. 4-3 Cardinals.
When the inning ended, Hill walked back to the dugout with his head down, but the Dodgers got ready to bat with a plan in mind. This plan involved scoring five runs in the inning. It started when Gant lost command, giving up a hit and two walks. Gant was removed from the game, but it didn’t do much good.
Bellinger took the lead back with a two-run single into right field. Just like that, all the energy was re-drained from the crowd at Busch Stadium. Puig then extended the Dodger lead with his second homer of the game. He crushed another pitch over the plate for his 20th homer of the game. It was his second straight multi-homer game.
Puig’s third and final homer of the game came in the eighth inning with two men on base and one out. This time, the ball he hit traveled in more of an arc than a line. At first, it had the announcers fooled, but it soon became clear that it was his third homer of the game. This one game the Dodgers a 13-4 lead.
Bellinger then added insult to injury in the ninth inning, when he slugged a home run. Bellinger got a fastball over the middle and he didn’t miss it. The ball sailed into the nearly-empty seats in right-center field. The homer capped Bellinger’s three-hit six RBI game.
Urías Is Back
One of the storylines that isn’t getting as much attention has to do with Julio Urías. You probably remember that he had season-ending shoulder surgery last year. Since then, he’s been rehabbing at the minor league level. Once the minor league season ended, Urías was given his September call-up. With a 17-4 lead, the Dodgers decided that it was a good time for Urías to make his 2018 debut. Urías responded by pitching a perfect ninth inning.
The Dodgers will try to destroy the Cardinals one more time this year this evening. Ross Stripling will take the mound for the Dodgers and Adam Wainwright will go for the Cardinals. In his second start off the DL, Stripling will be limited to roughly 75 pitches. The game will begin at 5:05 pm.