Mookie Betts hits 200th career HR as Dodgers defeat Giants 4-2

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LOS ANGELES — Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers accomplished two milestones during their 4-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Betts hit his 200th home run, becoming the 27th active player to reach that total. Combined with solo shots from Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman, it was the first time the three Dodgers stars at the top of the order have gone deep in the same game.

“I think that’s what you guys been talking about since March. I wish I did it in the same inning that they did,” said Freeman, who leads the NL with 118 hits and is second in batting average (.324). “It was just a good overall day for us and a good baseball game.”

Betts leads the Dodgers with 22 homers while Freeman and Turner have 15 apiece. They are also the team leaders in batting average and RBIs. For a team that has relied mostly on pitching because of the amount of guys who have seen time on the injured list, the Dodgers’ hitters finding their stride could make things tougher for opponents the remainder of the season.

“I think as far as superstar players, there’s guys that are talented, but there’s also superstar players that post and grind it out every single day whether they’re getting hits. Those three guys are in that same class,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Julio Urias tossed six innings of two-hit ball for the Dodgers, who have won seven straight and 14 of their last 15. Los Angeles is an NL-best 63-30 and has a 10 1/2-game lead over San Diego in the NL West.

Urias (9-6) struck out five to improve to 6-0 in his last seven starts. David Price came on late in the ninth inning for his second career save.

The Giants appeared headed toward being shut out for the fifth time this season before putting together a two-out rally in the ninth. Thairo Estrada and Yermin Mercedes drew walks off Reyes Moronta before Luis Gonzalez and Joey Bart followed with RBI singles off Price.

Price then got Austin Slater looking on a sinker with a 2-2 count to end the threat. The Giants have dropped three straight after winning five of six before the All-Star break.

The Giants may have sustained a bigger loss after Evan Longoria suffered a strained right hamstring during the fourth inning. Manager Gabe Kapler termed it a mild strain and indicated that his third baseman is likely headed to the injured list for the third time this season.

“I know he’s really frustrated. It’s hard when your body doesn’t cooperate with you. It’s kind of one thing after another where he hasn’t been able to get over the hump,” Kapler said.

Giants starter Alex Wood (6-8) struck out five straight Dodger hitters before Betts and Turner hit back-to-back solo shots in the third inning. Both came on sinkers with a full count and marked the fifth time this season the Dodgers had hit consecutive homers.

When asked about reaching 200 homers, Betts said he wasn’t reflecting on it and was moving forward.

After Gavin Lux added an RBI triple in the sixth, Freeman extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a homer off John Brebbia in the seventh. Freeman is batting .524 (22 for 42) with five homers and 10 RBIs during that span.

Wood went four-plus innings and allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six.

STREAKING ALONG

This marks the fourth time since Turner was acquired by the Dodgers at the trade deadline last year that he has had a hitting streak of 10 or more games.

TWO-OUT MAGIC

All but one of the Dodgers’ 18 runs in the first three games of this series have come with two outs. Of their 14 hits with two outs, 11 have gone for extra bases.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: SS Brandon Crawford (left knee inflammation) took ground balls for the first time since he received a cortisone shot last Sunday.

Dodgers: RHP Blake Treinen (shoulder) threw a bullpen before the game. … LHP Andrew Heaney remains on schedule to rejoin the rotation next week. With Los Angeles playing 18 straight games after the All-Star break, Roberts could go with a six-man staff for at least one turn.

UP NEXT

Giants: RHP Alex Cobb (3-4, 4.09 ERA) goes for his first win since May 17. He is 0-3 in his last eight starts.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.13 ERA) becomes the second pitcher to make his 200th regular-season start at Dodger Stadium. Hall of Famer Don Sutton made the most with 270.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.