The highly-anticipated series between two historic rivals quickly turned into a lopsided affair as the Los Angeles Dodgers hit four home runs en route to slugging their way to an 8-4 win over the New York Yankees.
Mookie Betts got the Dodgers off to a roaring start with the 41st leadoff home run of his career. Of those, Betts has hit 21 in 374 games with the Dodgers. He hit 20 career leadoff homers in 794 games played for the Boston Red Sox.
Betts additionally leads all players this season with five leadoff home runs.
His latest long ball marked the start of the Dodgers batting around against Luis Severino in the first inning. After an out call was overturned via challenge to give Will Smith an infield single, Max Muncy went to the opposite field for a two-run home run.
Three straight singles by J.D. Martinez, Jason Heyward and Miguel Vargas loaded the bases for James Outman, who’s line drive to center field dropped for an RBI single. Miguel Rojas then contributed with a sacrifice fly and Betts hit an RBI single in his second at-bat of the first.
The six-run inning came to an end when Outman was backpicked at third base.
After only needing five pitches to get through the first inning, Clayton Kershaw was able to remain on attack for the remainder of his start. He surrendered solo home runs to Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton, and otherwise held the Yankees to four total hits over seven innings.
Kershaw’s command was much improved compared to his starts throughout May, as he walked just one batter and finished with nine strikeouts. He was particularly effective when facing Aaron Judge, who went 0-for-3 with a first-pitch double play and two strikeouts.
Kershaw was provided with a bit more insurance in the third inning on Martinez’s 295th home run of his career.
Martinez has been on a tear since returning from the 15-day injured list, hitting a home run in four of his last five games, and eight long balls in his last 12. Martinez additionally extended his hitting streak to 16 games on the night.
Betts hit another solo shot in the sixth inning to tie a Dodgers franchise record with two consecutive multi-homer games.
The night wasn’t positive for all Dodgers, however, as Freddie Freeman had his 20-game hitting streak snapped despite exit velocities of at least 97.9 mph in four of his five at-bats.
Freeman was named National League Player of the Month for May prior to first pitch.
Dodgers break tie with Yankees
Heading into the series opener at Dodger Stadium, the Yankees and Dodgers had played 16 games since Interleague action began in 1997.
With Friday’s result, the Dodgers have now won nine of those meetings.
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