The Los Angeles Dodgers saw their modest three-game winning streak snapped on Friday night with the San Diego Padres spoiling the debut of top pitching prospect Dustin May by coming away with a 5-2 victory at Dodger Stadium.
Outside of May pitching into the sixth inning, the only real highlight of the night was Cody Bellinger’s two-run home run off Padres starter Eric Lauer in the bottom of the fourth.
Bellinger’s 36th home run of the season not only tied him for the Major League lead along with Christian Yelich and Mike Trout, but it was also significant because it was the 100th of his young career.
The 24-year-old reached the milestone in just his 401st career game, which broke the franchise record previously held by Mike Piazza (422).
“It’s pretty special. I didn’t know it was my 100th until I was told in the dugout afterward. I’m blessed and hopefully I can keep going,” Bellinger said of the accomplishment.
More than hitting a 100th career home run, Bellinger, who additionally became the youngest player in franchise history to reach the milestone, noted the opportunity that’s been afforded to him.
“It just means I had an opportunity to keep playing every day,” he said. “Staying healthy and getting on the field to keep performing.”
Lauer has been tough on the Dodgers in his career, improving to 4-0 in six starts. While making history on a personal level was significant for Bellinger, his main focus at the time was giving May and the Dodgers a lead.
“It was cool. We hadn’t had much success off him so it was nice to get a lead right there and give some padding for May in his debut,” Bellinger noted. “Just tried to put a good swing on it.”
Bellinger is in the midst of a breakout season for the Dodgers, establishing himself as one of the bright young stars in all of baseball. He is not only tied for the overall lead in home runs but also paces all players in runs scored (89) and on-base plus slugging percentage (1.111).
The next milestone that is obtainable for Bellinger this season is the franchise single-season home record of 49, set by Shawn Green in 2001. Bellinger is currently on pace for 52.
In 2017, Bellinger broke Piazza’s franchise rookie record with 39 home runs. He also passed the former catcher with six multi-homer games as a rookie.