The Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed the San Diego Padres to Dodger Stadium for a four-game series beginning Thursday night, and while their offense started out slow, they eventually came alive to earn an 8-2 victory.
The Dodgers were only able to push one run across in the first five innings of the game, and that came on a solo home run off the bat of Cody Bellinger in the bottom of the second. That prompted the crowd to shower him with ‘MVP’ chants.
Bellinger now has 35 home runs on the season, which is one behind Christian Yelich for the MLB lead. He also is just one home run shy of reaching 100 for his career.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Dodgers were finally able to break through. A.J. Pollock began the comeback with a single and Bellinger and Tyler White later walked to set the stage for the legend that has become Will Smith.
He has hit five home runs in limited time with the Dodgers this season, with three of them being of the walk-off or go-ahead variety in the ninth inning, which is an MLB record in the Modern Era.
Smith’s sixth long ball wasn’t in the ninth, but it was a go-ahead grand slam to give the Dodgers the lead in the sixth inning, continuing his incredible run.
He finished the night 2-for-4, also contributing a double. Smith now has 19 RBI in his first 14 career games, which is the most in franchise history and fourth-most in baseball history.
Clayton Kershaw got the start on the mound and battled his way to a 10th win of the season. He walked a season-high five batters but limited the damage to two runs in six innings, marking the 19th time in as many starts this season that he has gone at least that deep into an outing.
Kershaw also struck out five batters, which gave him 2,397 for his career as he passed Sandy Koufax for third on the all-time franchise list. Kershaw now only sits behind Don Sutton (2,696) and Don Drysdale (2,486).