Dodgers overcome Gallen’s 13 Ks, rally to beat Diamondbacks 3-2

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
3 Comments

LOS ANGELES – So much for Mookie Betts having the night off. The Los Angeles Dodgers needed his bat in the ninth inning and their All-Star came up big off the bench.

Max Muncy hit a tying infield single and Betts singled home the winning run with two outs, helping the Dodgers edge the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Thursday for their major league-leading 45th comeback victory.

“I think that may be one of my first pinch hits, so that part was pretty cool,” Betts said. “I was hoping not to hit, but you get to a point where the situation calls and you turn your brain on and you’re ready to go.”

The Dodgers didn’t take the lead until Arizona starter Zac Gallen left after eight innings. He struck out a career-high 13.

Gallen retired the first 11 batters he faced, striking out five in a row. He struck out the side in the eighth. The right-hander allowed one run and two hits in a career-best eight innings.

“He was just in complete control, domination,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s fun to watch. I’m glad we don’t see him again this year.”

Craig Kimbrel (6-6) got the win despite again struggling in the ninth.

“The stuff is startling to slide a little bit, the fastball velocity,” Roberts said. “I’ve just got to continue to look at this. We’ve got to have our best guys at the back end.”

Christian Walker slammed a 435-foot shot into the left-center field pavilion – his 36th homer overall and sixth against the Dodgers this season – for a 2-1 lead against Kimbrel.

Cody Bellinger doubled off the right-field wall leading off the bottom of the ninth against Reyes Moronta (1-1).

“He was ahead of Bellinger 0-2 and then it ended up being a 3-2 pitch kind of down in the bottom of the zone, right in his honey hole,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “We just couldn’t make some pitches in a key situation to Bellinger. It’s tough to navigate through that, especially the guys who were coming up behind him.”

After Trea Turner grounded out to third, Freddie Freeman was intentionally walked. Will Smith loaded the bases on an infield single that diving shortstop Geraldo Perdomo kept from reaching the outfield.

“Belli did a great job getting on second base leading off, then we got a little momentum,” Smith said.

Joe Mantiply came in to face Muncy, who hit a slow roller to third that scored Bellinger for a 2-all tie.

Dodgers starter Julio Urias gave up one run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked one.

Gallen gave up a pair of two-out hits – a triple by Smith and an RBI double by Muncy – that allowed the Dodgers to tie it 1-all in the fourth.

“He was making pitches and keeping us off balance and kind of stalled us for a little bit,” Smith said.

The D-backs led 1-0 on Stone Garrett‘s sacrifice fly in the third. Sergio Alcantara singled and Daulton Varsho followed by grounding into a fielder’s choice. Second baseman Gavin Lux‘s throwing error allowed Alcantara to take third, and Varsho moved up to second. Three batters later, Alcantara scored.

In the ninth, the Dodgers challenged Kimbrel hitting pinch-hitter Jake McCarthy with a pitch leading off. After a review, crew chief James Hoye announced the call stood.

McCarthy thought he’d stolen second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position, but another replay review overturned the safe call. Walker then came to the plate and put the D-backs ahead on a 2-2 pitch from Kimbrel.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: All-Star RHP Tony Gonsolin (forearm) threw to hitters in an up-and-down bullpen using his entire pitch mix. “The stuff looked good,” Roberts said. “My eyes were telling me it was a really good effort.” The 16-game winner will throw another bullpen in a couple of days. … RHP Blake Treinen (shoulder) won’t throw again until Saturday and see how he responds. “He’s frustrated. He’s not bouncing back,” Roberts said. … RHP Brusdar Graterol (elbow) was activated off the IL. … LHP David Price (wrist) threw a simulated inning to hitters. “He looked good. He was letting it go,” Roberts said.

STREAKS BUSTED

Turner went 0 for 4, including two strikeouts, to snap his 18-game hitting streak.

Turner also had another streak end. He had reached base safely in each of his last 47 games against the D-backs, the longest current streak for any active batter against any team.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: Hadn’t announced a starter for Friday’s opener of a three-game series against San Francisco.

Dodgers: LHP Andrew Heaney (3-2, 2.66 ERA) starts against Albert Pujols and the Cardinals in the series opener Friday.

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

aaron judge
Cole Burston/Getty Images
3 Comments

TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.