LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mookie Betts homered twice to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins in the second game on Saturday night to complete a doubleheader sweep.
Betts had a two-run single to cap a three-run eighth inning as the Dodgers won the first game by an identical 3-1 score.
After his solo home run in the third inning in the night game, Betts saluted Lakers star Lebron James, who was sitting in a suite with his family on his bobblehead night. When hit his 34th homer of the season in the fifth, Betts also saluted James as he crossed home plate, and the NBA star tipped his cap to him.
“It was kind of a thank you and shoutout to him,” Betts said. “He’s done it during his game, so I returned the favor.”
Betts said they’ve met a couple of times and talked a few times, and the salute was spur-of-the-moment.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts thought there was a bit more to it.
“I think that was intentional,” Roberts said of the salute. “Hitting a baseball is as hard as anything there is to do. I just think Mookie had another gear tonight to show out. We were all beneficiaries. It was fun to watch him and LeBron. Two great ones.”
Betts has five multi-homer games this season and 28 in his career.
The NL West-leading Dodgers bounced back nicely from an 11-3 loss on Friday night that snapped an 11-game winning streak. They got back on track with two wins to improve to 17-2 in August.
Julio Urías (11-6) allowed just one run — a solo homer to Josh Bell in the first inning — and five hits in seven innings, striking out five.
“He was awesome,” Roberts said of Urías. “The energy tonight, he responded. The City Connect jerseys. LeBron in the house. Crowd really energetic and he just fed off it. Tonight it was the Mookie and Julio show.”
Brusdar Graterol allowed two singles in the ninth before getting out of the jam to earn his sixth save. He was aided by a nice diving play by Amed Rosario for an out and Kiké Hernández made a throw from deep at third to get pinch-hitter Jesus Sanchez out to end the game.
Braxton Garrett (7-4) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, striking out six and walking none.
The Marlins, fighting for an NL wild card, have lost four of five.
“The one thing they have in that clubhouse is that they don’t ever stop or quit,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “They fight. … There’s a lot of games left and we’re still in the mix.”
Miami wasted a terrific performance by Eury Pérez in the first game as the 20-year-old struck out 10 while pitching six innings of two-hit ball. Pérez became the youngest pitcher to have double-digit strikeouts in a game since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez struck out 11 against Kansas City on Aug. 15, 2005 when he was 19.
Bryan De La Cruz hit an RBI double in the fourth against Ryan Pepiot, and Miami carried the 1-0 lead into the eighth. But it quickly fell apart from there.
James Outman drew a one-out walk against David Robertson (4-4) and moved to third on Hernández’s single. Outman scored the tying run on Austin Barnes’ sacrifice bunt as first baseman Bell’s throw from the side of the mound went past catcher Jacob Stallings, allowing Hernández to advance to third and Barnes to second.
“I was just ready for a strike,” Betts said. “I was trying to get a good pitch, fortunately I hit it. Barnesy set it up for us. Our guys kept them off the board, they only scored one.”
Ryan Yarbrough (6-5) pitched two perfect innings for the win, and Evan Phillips got three outs for his 19th save.
The doubleheader was scheduled by Major League Baseball out of concern over the forecast for Hurricane Hilary, which likely will cross into the southwest U.S. as a tropical storm. The twin-bill took the place of the previously scheduled series finale on Sunday.
Betts is now one home run away from his career-high of 35 that he set last year.
“I’m surprised but also not,” Betts said. “I work so hard, man. I work really hard to be where I’m at now and I’ll continue to work hard. Just have to take it in stride. Don’t get too high or too low. I just want to win. That’s all I care about.”
KING OF GOOD WILL
Dodgers president Stan Kasten presented James with a check for $100,000 for his LeBron James Family Foundation.
Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (elbow) is unlikely to return this season, according to manager Dave Roberts. Gonsolin, who gave up five home runs Friday night before acknowledging he had been pitching through some sort of elbow injury, will have further tests next week to determine the extent of the injury.
Marlins: RHP Jonny Cueto (0-3, 5.57) is expected to start Monday in San Diego.
Dodgers: Bobby Miller (7-2, 3.70 ERA) will oppose former teammate Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday in Cleveland.