Heading into Friday’s series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he believed Yasiel Puig was putting too much pressure on himself at the plate.
Puig’s recent slump and offensive inconsistency have been major talking points over recent weeks, with Roberts previously calling on the 25-year-old outfielder to refocus on attacking pitches in the strike zone. Puig batted fifth, looking to improve on his small sample size against Cardinals’ righty Michael Wacha — 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.
St. Louis jumped out to a 1-o lead in the first inning, with the Dodgers not getting on the board until the second. A much-needed hit for Puig came when he reached on an infield single that followed Adrian Gonzalez reaching on an error.
The Dodgers went on to score three runs in the inning — on a Trayce Thompson two-run single with the bases loaded, and a Howie Kendrick RBI single.
With the Dodgers leading 5-2 in the fifth inning, Puig collected his first RBI since May 3 with a base hit to left field:
Then in the sixth inning with the Dodgers holding a three-run lead, Puig hit an opposite-field solo home run over the short fence in right field:
The home run was Puig’s first since May 3, and first at Dodger Stadium since April 25, when he hit a solo shot against the Miami Marlins.