LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cody Bellinger has struggled the past two seasons, but for at least one at-bat he was able to rediscover his past form.
Bellinger’s grand slam broke a tie in the eighth inning as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 5-1 Friday night for their ninth straight win at home.
“It feels really good. It feels good to put the right swing on the ball and see the results,” Bellinger said.
Bellinger batted .281 (62 for 221) with six homers and 31 RBIs against the Giants from 2017-20. Going into his fourth at-bat of the night though, he was 5 for 73 in regular-season games against the Dodgers’ longtime NL West rival since the start of last season.
With two outs and an 0-2 count, Bellinger connected on a curveball over the plate from Sam Long (1-3) on the sixth pitch of the at-bat for his seventh career grand slam.
“I got down 0-2 really quick. When you don’t try to do too much, good things happen,” Bellinger said. “In that situation, I was seeing the ball well and put a good swing on it.”
Manager Dave Roberts continues to show confidence in the 2019 NL MVP despite his struggles the past two seasons. Bellinger is hitting .208 this season and has a .187 average since the start of last year.
“He knows the moments and he’s come out on top of big moments. You just got to keep running guys like that out there and believe that it’s going to turn,” Roberts said of Bellinger. “I’ve obviously shown my belief in him and his teammates have too. It was just really good to see him do
Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman each had two hits for the Dodgers, who are an NL best 32-13 at home this season. Betts had a three-run homer in the eighth inning Thursday night to give the Dodgers a 9-6 victory.
Thairo Estrada had two hits for the Giants, who have dropped two straight after winning five of six before the All-Star break.
Freeman began the Dodgers’ eighth with a base hit to center field, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then moved to third when Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr., who had just come into the game, booted Max Muncy’s ground ball with one out.
After Gavin Lux struck out, Jake Lamb was hit by a pitch to load the bases and set up Bellinger’s 12th homer of the season, which went into the stands in the right-field corner.
“We can do better at it. LaMonte is very capable of making that play. I think Sam would like to find a different location for that breaking ball,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said about the eighth inning. “Anytime you put a runner on base without making them earn it is something that we’d like to do over.”
David Vesia (2-0), one of five Dodgers pitchers used, got the win.
Betts hit Logan Webb’s first pitch up the middle for a single and eventually scored when a bases-loaded walk was issued to Lux. The Dodgers were unable to add anymore runs in the first when Lamb popped out to third baseman Evan Longoria.
Tyler Anderson retired the first eight San Francisco hitters before Mike Yastrzemski beat the shift with a single to shallow left field in the third.
The Giants evened it in the fourth on Yermin Mercedes’ RBI single. The tying run was set up one batter earlier when Dodgers third baseman Muncy had a throwing error on a base hit by Estrada, which allowed Longoria to advance from first to third.
Anderson earned a $500,000 bonus for going over 100 innings. The lefty went six innings and allowed an unearned run on four hits and struck out six.
Anderson is the first Dodgers’ hurler to cross the century mark in innings this season.
WEBB SETTLES DOWN
Webb walked three straight batters in the first and threw 51 pitches the first two innings before settling down.
The right-hander ended up going six innings on 103 pitches. He gave up one run on five hits with two strikeouts and four walks.
Giants: Tommy LaStella (COVID=19) went 1 for 3 in the first game of a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento.
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner is sitting out the next couple days due to abdominal tightness. Roberts said he doesn’t think it is serious enough that Turner would need a stint on the injured list but also noted that Turner has not had it scanned.
Giants: LHP Alex Wood (6-7, 4.20 ERA) is 1-2 in his last five starts. He has a 2-3 record in nine games against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías (8-6, 2.89 ERA) is 5-0 in his last six starts. His last loss came on June 12 against the Giants.
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