Cody Bellinger
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Cody Bellinger off to historic start in 2019

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Cody Bellinger isn’t just off to a hot start this season — he’s off to one of the hottest starts we’ve seen from any player in MLB history. On Friday night, the Dodgers’ slugger approached his eighth game of 2019 with a league-leading five home runs and 13 RBI. By the time the club wrapped their 10-6 win over the Rockies, Bellinger had six home runs and 16 RBI. According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, that’s the most any player has collected in the first eight games of a season since Alex Rodriguez and Eddie Mathews went on similar tears for the 2007 Yankees and 1953 Braves, respectively.

Bellinger went yard in the fifth inning of Friday’s game, pinpointing a 90-m.p.h. fastball from Tyler Anderson and launching it back out to the right field bullpen for a three-run homer to put the Dodgers up 6-1. He’s building on an impressive follow-up to last year’s campaign, during which he slashed .260/.343/.470 with 25 homers, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR through 632 plate appearances and a full 162 games.

The 23-year-old outfielder isn’t the only one who’s been mashing home runs for the Dodgers these days, either. Max Muncy engineered a solo home run in the fourth inning, while Russell Martin waited until the sixth to take Carlos Estévez deep for his first homer of the 2019 season. Collectively, the Dodgers rank first in the National League with 21 home runs through their first eight games, tied with the Mariners for most in MLB.

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.