PHOENIX (AP) — Reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger had a leisurely night at the ballpark, lounging and cheering in the socially distanced stands with a few teammates after manager Dave Roberts decided the young star could use a game off because of an early-season slump.
Turns out the Dodgers’ offense was just fine without him.
Chris Taylor hit a three-run homer, A.J. Pollock and Edwin Ríos added two-run shots and the Los Angeles Dodgers rolled to an 11-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
“It just speaks to the depth we have,” Roberts said. “We’ve got a lot of good players.”
The bottom of the order showed big power in the fourth inning when Ríos — a rookie who was hitting seventh in the lineup — smashed a two-run homer over the 413-foot sign in center field. Two batters later, nine-hole hitter Matt Beaty ripped another homer that barely stayed fair down the right-field line and gave Los Angeles a 3-1 lead.
“I was just trying to hit the ball halfway as far as Eddie did a few at-bats before,” Beaty said with a grin.
D-backs starter Luke Weaver (0-2) took the loss after giving up six runs in four-plus innings. The hard-throwing righty cruised through the first three innings before giving up the two fourth-inning homers.
The Dodgers broke the game open with a five-run fifth when the first six batters reached base on Weaver and reliever Yoan López. Justin Turner hit a two-run triple and Pollock added a two-run homer as Los Angeles pushed its lead to 8-2. Taylor’s three-run homer in the eighth made it 11-2.
Dodgers starter Julio Urías (1-0) gave up two runs over six innings while striking out five. The D-backs had five hits, including run-scoring singles from Eduardo Escobar and Carson Kelly. Urias said he settled into a rhythm after giving up a run in the first inning.
“I was a little more forward, a little more aggressive with my approach,” Urias said.
Arizona fell to 3-6 in the 60-game season. Manager Torey Lovullo sensed his players are pressing.
“Instead of digging in and digging together and relying on one another, each guy’s trying to hit a six-run home run and strike out 22 batters,” Lovullo said. “That’s not how baseball works. Everything’s linked. Everything’s connected. We’ve just got to get to that point of relaxation and execution.
Weaver made a spectacular and painful second out of the first inning when he was drilled on the backside by a hard liner from Corey Seager. The ball bounced toward the first base line before Weaver sprinted after it, reached down and flipped the ball with his glove to Ildemaro Vargas for the out.
Dodgers: The Dodgers made a roster move for a third straight day, calling up RHP Mitch White. The 25-year-old White replaces RHP Tony Gonsolin, who made a spot start on Friday. White split time between Double-A and Triple-A last season, finishing with a 4-6 record and 5.09 ERA. … Roberts pulled shortstop Corey Seager and right fielder Mookie Betts in the final innings after the Dodgers built a big lead. Roberts said Seager was battling some cramping after fouling a ball off his calf in Friday’s game. The manager said Betts’ legs “tightened up” some after three games on the Diamondbacks’ artifical turf. Roberts added that Betts said he was “fine.”
Diamondbacks: Arizona called up utility man Andy Young. The 26-year-old can play all over the infield and in the corner outfield positions and is expected to provide depth at all of them. Young said that even though his dad couldn’t physically be in Chase Field for his first game, he flew from Fargo, North Dakota, to Phoenix just to be in the same city for his debut. Young got in the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth. The D-backs sent Josh Rojas to the alternate training site to make room for Young’s spot.
Dodgers: Three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will take the mound Sunday for the first time this season. The left-hander was scheduled to start opening day but was a late scratch because of a back injury.
Diamondbacks: Arizona sends RHP Merrill Kelly (1-0, 1.17) to the mound. Kelly gave up just one run in 7 2/3 innings against the Rangers in his previous start.
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