Dodgers hit two grand slams in blowout win over Brewers

Dodgers hit two grand slams in blowout win over Brewers
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For the past two weeks, as their frustration mounted and the losses stacked, the Dodgers have looked around wondering when the tide would turn for longer than 24 hours. They’ve waited to catch the breaks and explode for runs and breathe not only a sigh of relief but replenish their lungs with a string of wins.

Sunday’s 16-4 thumping of the Milwaukee Brewers, an outburst that kept them from a demoralizing four-game series sweep, may be the spark.

Matt Beaty and AJ Pollock, the No. 6 and 7 hitters in the Dodgers’ lineup, fronted the offensive charge at American Family Field as the Dodgers avoided their first four-game losing streak since July 2019.

Both players clubbed grand slams in the first two innings. Pollock added a three-run home run and finished with eight RBIs. Beaty collected seven RBIs in the first four innings. They became the first Dodgers teammates to ever collect at least seven RBIs in a game.

Chris Taylor went three for three with a walk, hit by pitch and five runs, becoming the first Dodger to score five runs in a game since Shawn Green had six in Milwaukee in May 2005. Justin Turner, Will Smith and Gavin Lux each collected two of the Dodgers’ 18 hits. Lux, the No. 8 hitter, drove in the 16th run as the Dodgers tallied double-digit runs for the first time since April 16.

“That was what we’re used to today,” Beaty said. “So, that was a lot of fun.”

On the mound, Julio Urías didn’t ease off the gas, holding the Brewers (17-11) to one run across seven innings to save a taxed bullpen from further stress. He had 10 strikeouts for his second double-digit total in three starts and didn’t walk a batter. His day ended after 90 pitches.

The combination gave the Dodgers (17-12) a 9-0 lead after three innings, prompting rest-minded lineup changes on both sides. The Brewers, already with 16 players on the injured list, pulled Kolten Wong, their second baseman and leadoff hitter, after the third inning. By the seventh inning, the Dodgers, playing their 11th game in 11 days, had removed Turner, Corey Seager and Mookie Betts.

Highlights from the Dodgers’ 16-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

“As a team we needed to be able to breathe a little bit,” Pollock said.

The early miles-long margin came down to just a few inches.

The floodgates were nudged open when Beaty beat out a two-out infield single with the bases loaded in the first inning. He hit a groundball to first baseman Keston Hiura, who shoveled the ball to pitcher Alec Bettinger at first base on time. But Bettinger didn’t find the find the bag with his foot until it was too late.

Beaty’s hustle gave the Dodgers their first run. Three pitches later, Pollock crushed his grand slam. “Let’s go!” Pollock, usually stoic, hollered as he rounded first base, as if the tension from the previous three nights had popped once the 425-foot blast landed. Suddenly, Bettinger, a misstep away from a scoreless inning, was reeling in his major league debut.

Luck was on the Dodgers’ side again in the second inning when Beaty, hitting with the bases loaded again, golfed a pitch just over a leaping Avisaíl García’s glove at the wall in right field. The flyball had an xBA — expected batting average — of .030.

Matt Beaty watches his grand slam during the second inning of Sunday’s game.

(Aaron Gash / Associated Press)

AJ Pollock hits a grand slam during the first inning against the Brewers.

AJ Pollock hits a grand slam during the first inning against the Brewers.

(Aaron Gash / Associated Press)

It went in the scorebook as Beaty’s first career grand slam and the team’s second two-out grand slam in two innings, making Sunday the first time the Dodgers collected two grand slams in a game since Adrián Beltré and Green partnered for two against the Florida Marlins in May 2000.

Beaty, who is nine for 17 (.529) in eight games since being recalled, added a two-run single in his next at-bat in the fourth inning. Two innings later, Pollock delivered a three-run home run to join him in the seven-RBI club. He tallied a run-scoring double, missing a three-run home run by inches, for his eighth RBI, becoming the first Dodger to reach that total in a game since 2016.

The outburst was fueled by a break the Dodgers caught three days earlier. Milwaukee placed Corbin Burnes, one of the best pitchers in the majors this season, on the injured list Thursday without an injury designated. The move is presumably related to COVID-19, but the Brewers didn’t specify.

Whatever the reason, it forced the Brewers, whose bullpen was also worn from the series’ first three games, to give the start to Bettinger, who hadn’t pitched in an official game since 2019 and above double A ever. He was left to wear the beating. The right-hander gave up 11 runs and 11 hits across four innings, departing with a 24.75 career ERA.

“I feel for him a little,” Pollock said, “but we needed that one.”

The Dodgers’ relief corps was in a similar state, spent after two straight bullpen games. But the Dodgers, after losing Dustin May to a major arm injury Saturday, didn’t have to scramble for a starter Saturday. Urías was given the ball as scheduled, and he delivered the length they needed.

Mike Kickham, added to the roster before the game, was the only reliever the Dodgers used. He surrendered three runs over the final two innings. It didn’t matter. The Dodgers were breathing easy again.

“A day like this,” manager Dave Roberts said, “is always welcomed.”

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