Hello Juan Uribe. Goodbye losing streak.
There are gentle ways to turn around a bad skid and then there are nights like Monday, when led by Uribe’s three solo homers, the Dodgers went the sledge-hammer routine, pounding the Diamondbacks behind a six-home run attack for an 8-1 victory.
A Dodger Stadium sellout crowd of 52,410 packed the ballpark on Hello Kitty bobblehead night, watching the Dodgers snap a four-game losing streak to reduce their magic number for clinching the National League West to eight.
Six of the Dodgers’ first nine hits were homers. By the fifth inning you worried they would run out of baseballs.
Ricky Nolasco held the Diamondbacks to one unearned run on three hits in his 6 2/3 innings, yet the spotlight nevertheless fell on Uribe and the team’s power outburst.
Uribe began the night with seven homers on the season. The three homers were one more than he had all last year.
But Uribe, who started the year backing up Luis Cruz at third base, has managed to reinvent himself this season. After being part of a rotation at third, he eventually won the position outright. And even after the recent acquisition of Michael Young, he was the team’s undisputed starter at third.
Uribe became the first Dodger since Andre Ethier on June 26, 2009, to hit three homers in one game. The only Los Angeles Dodger to hit four home runs in a game, Shawn Green, happened to be in attendance Monday.
It was actually Ethier who started the home run barrage Monday, hitting a solo shot off Arizona starter Randall Delgado in the second inning. Uribe followed with his first homer.
In the third inning, Hanley Ramirez doubled and scored on an Adrian Gonzalez homer. It was the only one of the Dodgers’ six home runs that was not a solo shot. One out later, Uribe followed with his second home run, this one just getting over the left-field wall.
Ramirez got into the power act with a solo shot in the fifth inning, and two outs later, there was Uribe again, drilling his third homer.
He was mobbed by teammates, and then brought out for a curtain call by the sellout crowd. It was a long way from the guy buried on the bench last season.
He had a shot at a fourth homer in the seventh inning, but apparently just for variety, beat out an infield hit to third to drive in his fourth run of the night.
Nolasco raised his record to 8-1 as a Dodger. He has now won his last seven consecutive decisions. Nolasco (13-9) walked one and struck out six in his 6 2/3 innings. In his last seven starts, he has a 1.17 earned-run average.
The six home runs were the most the Dodgers had in one game since they had seven on Sept. 16, 2006, against the Padres. Only 16 players in baseball history have hit four homers in one game, including Green and Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times