The Los Angeles Dodgers squandered multiple opportunities for much of the night but managed to flip the script and make MLB history en route to an 8-3 comeback win against the Atlanta Braves that was sparked by back-to-back home runs from Max Muncy and Justin Turner.
After Cody Bellinger’s 41st home run of the season gave the Dodgers a lead, Kenta Maeda started the bottom of the second with a walk. Ender Inciarte’s double put two on with one out, and a walk then loaded the bases.
Matt Joyce poked a two-run single through a hole in the shift to give the Braves a lead and Ronald Acuña Jr. ambushed the first pitch he saw for a two-out RBI single. Maeda issued his third walk in the inning to again load the bases but retired Freddie Freeman.
Outside of the shaky second inning, Maeda generally pitched well and at one point had seven consecutive strikeouts. However, upon that being snapped by Josh Donaldson’s two-out single in the fifth, it was followed by a walk and that marked the end of the road for Maeda.
He did finish with nine strikeouts but tied a season high with four walks. The bit of Jekyll and Hyde performance stemmed from aggressiveness, or lack thereof, which Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt continue to discuss with Maeda.
The Dodgers’ comeback began with Joc Pederson’s second single of the game that scored Matt Beaty and cut their deficit in half in the third inning. It was a welcomed sight for Pederson, who finished 2-for-3 after going hitless with four strikeouts in eight at-bats during the first three games of the road trip.
Mike Soroka otherwise managed to bob and weave his way through traffic. He entered the night among the leaders in limiting home runs and with a 2.32 ERA that trailed only Hyun-Jin Ryu for the MLB lead.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning, only for Edwin Rios to ground into a double play. When Soroka walked Smith to start the seventh, he erased it by starting a 1-6-3 double play.
A.J. Pollock followed with a pinch-hit single, which knocked Soroka out of the game. Sean Newcomb walked Kyle Garlick, which led to the game-changing home runs from Muncy and Turner. It marked a 14th time this season the Dodgers had back-to-back homers.
Will Smith then put them into record books by pulling a two-run shot that went off the foul pole in the eighth inning. It gave the Dodgers an MLB record 22 home runs during a five-game span, and extended their record to five consecutive games with at least four homers.