Despite breakout game, Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger is likely to return to minors soon
Cody Bellinger’s fingerprints were all over Saturday night’s historic comeback, in which the Dodgers clubbed three straight home runs in a span of four pitches to open the ninth inning of a dramatic 6-5 walk-off victory over the Phillies.
The organization’s top prospect lined the first homer of his big league career into the right-field bullpen in the seventh to pull the Dodgers to within 4-2. He followed Yasiel Puig’s leadoff homer in the ninth by smashing his second homer high off the right-field foul pole.
Justin Turner followed with a score-tying shot to left, and ensuing singles by Austin Barnes, Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez netted the winning run.
Visions of Bellinger’s big swing and raw power helping the team throughout the summer probably danced through the heads of Dodgers fans after his breakout performance.
But manager Dave Roberts doused those hopes Sunday the way Bellinger’s teammates drenched him with ice-cold buckets of water Saturday night.
Injured outfielders Joc Pederson and Franklin Gutierrez and second baseman Logan Forsythe are expected to be activated this week.
Unless the team can convince first baseman Gonzalez, whose swing and power appear compromised by the right-forearm tendinitis he’s had since spring training and a recent back injury, to go on the disabled list for the first time in his career — highly unlikely — Bellinger will soon return to triple A.
“Cody is here by way of injury, and you have guys coming back,” Roberts said. “I don’t think it’s up for discussion that because he’s performing in this short time — which is great for his confidence and for us — that someone else is going to be a casualty because of Cody.”
Bellinger had one infield single in four at-bats Sunday.
Bellinger called Saturday night’s game “the best I’ve ever been a part of — I’ve never seen anything like it,” and he’ll have two prized souvenirs to show for it. Bellinger got both of his home-run balls and gave them to his mother, Jennifer, who was at the game.
“It was cool for me to give them to her,” said Bellinger, the son of former big league utility player Clay Bellinger. “She’s your mom. She’s super proud.”
The ninth-inning barrage marked the first time the Dodgers hit three consecutive homers since Hanley Ramirez, James Loney and Luis Cruz combined on the feat on Aug. 12, 2012, at Atlanta.
According to Elias, it was the first time a team hit three consecutive homers to tie a game in the ninth inning or later since the Dodgers hit four straight — by Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin and Marlon Anderson — on Sept. 18, 2006, against San Diego. Nomar Garciaparra’s two-run homer in the 10th gave the Dodgers an 11-10 win.
During his 16-game hitting streak, Turner is batting .433 (26 for 60) with six doubles, six runs and nine runs batted in. … Catcher Yasmani Grandal had a double and two singles Sunday to raise his average to .225, and his pickoff of Cameron Rupp at second base for the first out of the fifth inning helped preserve a 2-1 lead. … Forsythe (right big toe fracture) and Pederson (right groin strain) are scheduled to begin two-game rehabilitation assignments with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday and be activated for Friday night’s game in San Diego.
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