Justin Turner
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Dodgers set MLB home run record in five-game span

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While the Twins remain unchallenged at the top of the league’s home run leaderboards, they’re not the only team setting home run records these days. In an 8-3 win over the Braves on Friday, the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, and Will Smith combined for four homers, boosting the club to 22 bombs in their last five games — a new all-time MLB record in such a short stretch.

Cody Bellinger was the first to strike. In the second inning, he saw a 92.2-m.p.h. fastball from Atlanta righty Mike Soroka and dropped it over the wall in right field for a leadoff solo shot, his 41st of the season. It’s the fourth home run he’s managed in his last five games, keeping him atop the leaderboard with Mike Trout, who also happened to register his 41st of the year on Friday.

In the seventh, now down 3-2 to the Braves, the Dodgers tacked on another pair of homers to regain the lead. Max Muncy and Justin Turner went back-to-back against lefty reliever Sean Newcomb — Muncy with a three-run blast, Turner with a 415-foot solo homer — to give the team a cushy three-run advantage. Per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, it marked the 14th time the Dodgers have gone back-to-back this year: another franchise record.

One inning later, rookie slugger Will Smith followed the home run hit parade with his own, taking Jerry Blevins deep to left field for his 10th dinger of 2019. He’s the eighth Dodgers player to reach double-digit home runs so far this season, following still more impressive feats by Bellinger, Muncy, and Turner, as well as Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernández, Corey Seager, and Alex Verdugo.

Not only did the club set a new five-game home run record, but they also extended their streak to five straight games with four or more home runs. They’ll try for a sixth on Saturday, when they’re scheduled to take on Braves’ right-hander Mike Foltynewicz at 7:20 PM EDT.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.