After beginning a 10-game trip with three narrow losses to Milwaukee, the Los Angeles Dodgers broke out of their funk Sunday — and then some.
Now, the defending World Series champions hope to keep their power surge churning as they visit the Chicago Cubs on Monday night to open a three-game series.
The Dodgers still come to Wrigley Field with losses in 10 of their past 14 games, but they emphatically snapped a three-game skid with a 16-4 rout of the Brewers on Sunday. Matt Beaty and AJ Pollock were a combined 7-for-12 with three home runs and 15 RBIs.
Pollock hit two homers, and both players connected on grand slams. The duo became the first pair of teammates in franchise history with at least seven RBIs in a game.
For context, the Dodgers combined to score seven runs total against the Brewers in the first three games of the weekend series.
“As a team, we just needed to be able to breathe a little bit,” Pollock said. “It’s been a rough couple weeks for us. We knew it was gonna turn. But it was just nice to play a game where we can just have some fun out there.”
Chicago drilled five home runs in Sunday’s 13-12, 10-inning loss at Cincinnati but may have lost center fielder Ian Happ for an extended stretch.
Moments after hitting a three-run shot with two outs to tie the game at 12 in the top of the eighth, Happ collided with second baseman Nico Hoerner after converging on a fly ball to shallow center field. Hoerner made the play, but Happ struggled to gain balance after getting to his feet and left the field in a cart.
Cubs manager David Ross after the game said Happ “was in good spirits,” and the team expected to provide a further update before Monday’s game against the Dodgers.
The series finale in Cincinnati marked a much-needed breakout for the Cubs, as well. Chicago has lost seven of its past nine as it begins a six-game homestand, scoring three runs or fewer five times during that span.
Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks (1-3, 7.54 ERA) will hope for a reversal of recent fortune as he happily prepares to face an opponent that isn’t the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta reached Hendricks for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings Wednesday and has 14 runs with seven homers in 7 2/3 innings in two games against Hendricks this season. He has allowed three home runs in his three other starts this season.
In five career starts against the Dodgers, Hendricks is 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA, with 14 strikeouts and seven home runs allowed in 27 innings.
Righty Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.16 ERA) is set to start for the Dodgers. After opening the season with four quality starts, Buehler struggled against the Cincinnati Reds in his most recent outing Tuesday, allowing five runs in 6 1/3 innings, with one walk and 10 strikeouts.
Buehler is 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA in three career appearances against the Cubs, including two starts, with seven strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
–Field Level Media