One night after the Los Angeles Dodgers stunned the Colorado Rockies with a walk-off win, they did so again on Saturday in the 11th inning. Matt Beaty played the role of hero with a game-winning home run in the series opener, and his act was then followed by Alex Verdugo.
Per Elias Sports Bureau, Beaty and Verdugo are the first set of rookie teammates in MLB history to hit walk-off home runs in back-to-back games. The Dodgers enter play Sunday with five walk-off wins this season; four of which have come via the long ball.
Joc Pederson delivered the first with a blast against the Cincinnati Reds on April 15, then Will Smith accomplished as much with what was also his first career home run to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies on June 1.
Beaty’s home run on Friday was the second of his career, but first walk-off. Verdugo’s was his first to end a game, though he’d previously sent the Dodgers home in walk-off fashion with a sacrifice fly against the New York Mets on May 29.
Verdugo’s clutch home run came in what was a four-hit game, another career first for the dynamic outfielder. More encouraging is that the 23-year-old continues to further separate himself from a mini slump.
Verdugo never suggested it was the case, but it’s plausible the skid stemmed from lingering back trouble. He’s now in the midst of a five-game hitting streak and has hit safely in eight of the past 10 games.
Overall this season, Verdugo is batting .303/.354/.493 with 17 doubles, seven home runs and 32 RBI.
While Beaty took a back seat, he was instrumental in the Dodgers completing their comeback win. His RBI single in the second inning tied the game and flare into left field scored Cody Bellinger in the eighth to again pull the Dodgers even.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has previously praised Beaty for making an impact and earning his way to regular playing time. He was bound for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday but before boarding a flight received a call to return to Dodger Stadium because Josh Sborz was being placed on the 10-day injured list.
Beaty’s and Verdugo’s efforts both during the Rockies series and as a whole have contributed to the Dodgers getting off to their second-best start in franchise history at 53-25. The 1974 club was 54-24 through their first 78 games of the season.