While the Los Angeles Dodgers were in the process of playing to one of the best records in baseball through the first month of the 2019 MLB season, it came without expected contributions from the likes of Corey Seager, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner, among others.
While each had moments of hitting to their usual standards, the Dodgers were carried by Cody Bellinger and his record-breaking start to the season. Bellinger was rewarded with National League Player of the Month honors for April.
The bulk of attention on Turner’s slow start was placed on a lack of power display. Though, that was in line with his career history and something Turner was hardly concerned about.
With a track record of heating up in May — particularly in the home run department — Turner clubbed his first homer of the season on April 30. On Tuesday he erupted for three home runs to lead the Dodgers to a 9-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Turner credited the power surge and his recent hot stretch to an improved comfort level at the plate and better handling pitches he was previously not capitalizing on, via SportsNet LA:
“Just coming in every day, trying to make adjustments and get a good feeling back. I have felt better the last couple weeks, feel like I’ve been hitting a lot of balls hard. Tonight, I finally got a couple up in the air. … Just the timing has felt good. I think I’ve been swinging at good pitches all along but I’ve been missing a lot of good pitches to hit. I feel like I’ve been finding the barrel a lot more frequently.”
Turner’s three-home run game and six RBI each set a career high. Prior to Tuesday, his last multi-homer game came against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 13, 2017.
Even with a seven-game hitting streak getting snapped in the series finale against the Padres, Turner has hit safely in nine of his past 10 games. Included within that are five multi-hit performances.
Overall this season, Turner is now batting .302/.391/.434 with five doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI.