Years from now, if fans who were at Chase Field on Saturday night look back at the Dodgers’ 9-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, they probably won’t be able to remember the final score or how the result affected the standings.
If Corey Seager has the kind of career the Dodgers envision, what those fans will recall is that they saw the 21-year-old shortstop launch his first major league home run.
Five innings into the slugfest, Seager crashed his bat into an 86-mph cut fastball by reliever Josh Collmenter, sending the baseball over the right-field fence and several rows of seats behind the visiting bullpen. The solo home run extended the Dodgers’ lead to 8-3.
Seager said he was struck by the magnitude of the moment as he exchanged high-fives with his teammates in the dugout.
“It really kind of sunk in,” he said.
Seager looked calm as he celebrated but later confessed his heart was racing.
“When you have two older brothers, you get used to hiding your emotions because they get under your skin pretty easily,” he said.
Seager received his home run ball, courtesy of the Diamondbacks’ security team. The fan who caught the ball exchanged it for a baseball signed by Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta.
“That was really nice of the fan,” Seager said.
But what about another fan, down the left-field line?
Without that fan, there might not have been a home run. On the pitch before his blast, Seager sent a foul ball down the left field line that was caught by a fan in a Diamondbacks cap. Because the fan caught it, Peralta couldn’t.
“I didn’t get to thank that fan down there,” Seager said.
Seager, who was four for four with three runs scored and three runs batted in, is now batting .467 in nine games with the Dodgers. He has reached base safely in his last nine plate appearances. His final at-bat was a nine-pitch battle in the ninth inning against Diamondbacks reliever Daniel Hudson, who was pumping high-90s fastballs. Seager doubled to left-center field.
Starting at shortstop for the fifth straight game in place of sidelined veteran Jimmy Rollins, Seager finished with three runs batted in, one on an infield hit in the first inning and another on a line-drive single to center field in the third.
His home run was one of four blasted by the Dodgers on this night, as Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson also launched balls into the stands.
Gonzalez, whose home run off Diamondbacks starter Rubby De La Rosa led off the third inning, was batting only .186 in the month leading up to the game.
The home run was Gonzalez’s team-leading 27th of the season.
For Pederson, his two-run blast off reliever Andrew Chafin in the same inning counted as his 25th home run — but only his fifth since the All-Star break. The home run increased the Dodgers’ lead to 7-0.
Pederson, who was relegated to a bench role until Enrique Hernandez went down with a strained hamstring, was three for five. In his last three starts, Pederson is seven for 12 with a walk.
Crawford couldn’t share in Gonzalez’s and Pederson’s optimism, as the frequently injured former All-Star was forced to depart from the game in the fifth inning with a tight hamstring. The Dodgers listed him as day-to-day.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal, who had missed the previous five games with a hurt shoulder, returned as a starter. He had two walks but was 0 for 3, extending his hitless streak to 36 at-bats.
Starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger pitched only 32/3 innings. Bolsinger blanked the Diamondbacks for the first three innings, but fell apart in three-run fourth inning.
Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke (16-3, 1.68 ERA) will face left-hander Patrick Corbin (5-3, 3.32) and the Diamondbacks on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Chase Field. TV: Sports Net LA; Radio: 570, 1020.