Dodgers get two-game sweep of Giants with 9-1 victory

Dodgers Mookie Betts celebrates his home run with Freddie Freeman.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Homers from Betts and Muncy, a key triple from Freeman and standout pitching lead Dodgers over the Giants.

Dodgers sweep the Giants 9-1

During a San Francisco Giants pitching change in the seventh inning Wednesday night, the scoreboard at Dodger Stadium played a familiar highlight reel.

It was clips from the Dodgers defeat of the Giants in the National League Division Series last year, a memorable five-game battle that came down to the final inning of the final game.

Wednesday night’s contest between the NL West rivals wasn’t nearly as close.

Moments after the game resumed, the Dodgers exploded for four runs to pull away from the Giants in a 9-1 win in front of a raucous 52,203 at Dodger Stadium, completing a two-game sweep in the first series between the team’s this season.

Early on, it looked like the Dodgers and Giants were headed for another tight finish.

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Max Muncy homers, Dodgers lead 9-1 heading into ninth

Phil Bickford comes in to pitch the eighth. He walks Joey Bart on four pitches. Joc Pederson grounds into a double play and Wilmer Flores grounds to third.

In the bottom of the eighth, Will Smith walked on eight pitches. Max Muncy homered to left, making it 9-1. Justin Turner singled to right-center. Cody Bellinger grounded to second, forcing Turner. Chris Taylor grounded to short, forcing Bellinger. Gavin Lux singled to left, Taylor to second. Edwin Ríos, batting for Betts, struck out looking.

Score after eight: Dodgers 9, Giants 1


Freddie Freeman’s triple, Mookie Betts’ homer, increase lead to 7-1

Tommy Kahnle comes in to pitch for L.A. Mike Yastrzemski leads off the seventh with a bunt single. Kevin Padlo grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Luis González grounded to second.

In the bottom half, Max Muncy singled to right-center. Justin Turner flied to center. Left-hander Sam Long came in to pitch for the Giants. Cody Bellinger doubled to center, Muncy to third. Chris Taylor was walked intentionally to load the bases with one out. Gavin Lux grounded to first. Wilmer Flores, who doesn’t play first often, looked at home, then threw to first, right between the pitcher and second baseman who were covering. Everyone is safe, and the Dodgers lead 4-1. Mookie Betts flied to right, scoring Bellinger, Taylor taking third. Freddie Freeman tripled down the right-field line, clearing the bases. It’s 7-1. Right-hander Tyler Beede comes in to pitch for the Giants. Trea Turner grounded to third.

Score after seven: Dodgers 7, Giants 1


Mookie Betts’ homer gives Dodgers a 3-1 lead

The Giants got a leadoff single but nothing else in the top of the fifth. All three Dodgers struck out in the bottom of the fifth.

Evan Phillips came in to pitch the sixth inning for the Dodgers. Tony Gonsolin went five innings, giving up one run and three hits while walking one and striking out five. He made 65 pitches, 46 for strikes. Wilmer Flores hit a grounder down the line. Max Muncy made a diving stop but couldn’t make the throw. Darin Ruf struck out looking with a full count. Brandon Crawford flied to deep left-center. Thairo Estrada popped to the catcher.

In the bottom of the sixth, Mookie Betts led off with a home run to right-center. Freddie Freeman struck out swinging. Mauricio Llovera replaced Alex Wood. Trea Turner struck out looking.

Score after six innings: Dodgers 3, Giants 1


Dodgers take 2-1 lead in fourth inning

Luis Gonzalez led off the top of the third with a single to left. Gonzalez stole second. Joey Bart struck out looking. Joc Pederson fouled to second, Gonzalez taking third. Wilmer Flores popped to first.

In the bottom half, Cody Bellinger flied to left. Chris Taylor struck out swinging. Gavin Lux struck out looking.

The top of the fourth began with a walk to Darin Ruf. Brandon Crawford grounded to third, forcing Ruf. Thairo Estrada struck out swinging. Mike Yastrzemski flied to center.

Mookie Betts singled and Freddie Freeman walked in the bottom of the fourth. Trea Turner singled to left, scoring Betts, Freeman to third. Will Smith lined the first pitch he saw into center for a hit, scoring Freeman, Turner to second. Max Muncy struck out. Justin Turner grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Score after four: Dodgers 2, Giants 1


Brandon Crawford gives Giants a 1-0 lead

Both teams went 1-2-3 in the first inning, but the Giants got on board in the top of the second when Brandon Crawford led off with a homer. Thairo Estrada struck out. Mike Yastrzemski grounded to second. Kevin Padlo lined to right.

In the bottom of the second, Will Smith led off with a seven-pitch walk. Max Muncy grounded into a double play. Justin Turner flied to right.

Score after two: Giants 1, Dodgers 0


Steady Will Smith moves up, slumping Justin Turner moves down in Dodgers order

Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner, right, heads to first after hitting a two-run home run.
Justin Turner
(Mark J. Terrill/AP)

The Dodgers lineup has a new look in recent days. And according to manager Dave Roberts, it might stay like that moving forward.

On Wednesday, the cleanup hitter was Will Smith for a third straight game, with the catcher again bumped up from the No. 6 spot he’d occupied for the first couple weeks of the season.

Though Smith is only batting .236 through his first 17 games, he has two home runs, 12 RBIs and a .733 on-base-plus-slugging percentage that ranks third on the club. Just as importantly, the 27-year-old has Roberts’ confidence every time he steps to the plate.

“There’s no panic, and he’s very unflappable,” Roberts said. ”And that’s why, I think for a manager, the more players you can trust, and that are dependable, you feel much better running them out there.”

Smith’s move up the lineup coincided with another player’s drop.

For the second straight game Wednesday, Justin Turner was batting sixth, something that hadn’t happened previously this season and that he’d only done sparingly in recent seasons.

Turner, 37, has been the Dodgers coldest hitter to start the season, entering Wednesday with just a .179 batting average, one home run, four extra base hits, and 19 strikeouts to just five walks.

“I wish I had an answer,” Roberts said when asked about Turner’s struggles. “He’s obviously off to a slow start.”

Roberts said Turner’s work ethic hasn’t wavered, and believed his at-bats have been somewhat better than the results show.

Still, Roberts acknowledged Turner has been expanding the zone, missing pitches he normally handles and struggling to draw walks as much as usual.

“I wouldn’t say he feels he’s close, and I wouldn’t say he’s pressing,” Roberts said. “I would say he’s frustrated and determined to figure it out.”

Roberts downplayed the factor age might be having in Turner’s struggles, even with his unique leg kick swing.

“Obviously [that’s] the first thing people will point to,” Roberts said. “But I think there’s more to it. I know there are some things he’s going to tinker with to figure it out, but I don’t see him abandoning the leg kick.”

Roberts added Turner will keep playing everyday, albeit in a lower spot of the order.

“I’m going to keep running him out there,” Roberts said. “Just a different look can sometimes spark something.”

Price back with team

David Price was back around the Dodgers on Wednesday after clearing COVID-19 protocols following his positive test last week.

Price said he is traveling with the team to Chicago this week for their series against the Cubs — Wrigley Field is one of two ballparks the 14-year veteran has never been to, along with the Texas Rangers’ new Globe Life Field — then will head to Arizona to start getting built back up. For now, he remains on the injured list.

Roberts said the team doesn’t yet have an exact return date targeted for the left-hander.


Tonight’s starting lineups


Dodgers proved they don’t trust Julio Urías when they pulled him early against Giants

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias throws to the plate during the first inning.
Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urías throws during a 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The velocity of his fastball was trending down. The opposing hitters were making some hard contact.

Julio Urías also hadn’t given up any runs.

His pitch count was still at 65.

And manager Dave Roberts removed him after six innings of a game in which the Dodgers were ahead by two runs.

Roberts can say whatever he wants. So can baseball operations president Andrew Friedman.

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ICYMI: Julio Urías and Dodgers edge rival Giants in first meeting of season

Last year, they were separated by one game in the regular season. Their playoff series wasn’t decided until the ninth inning of a winner-take-all Game 5.

It was as intense, dramatic and competitive as almost any season in the history of their rivalry, which spans more than a century.

And if Tuesday night was any indication, the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants might do it all over again.

In their first meeting of the season, the Dodgers won 3-1 in front of 43,370 at Dodger Stadium, prevailing in a pitchers’ duel between Julio Urías (six scoreless innings) and Carlos Rodón (two runs and only three hits over six innings).

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How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season

Here’s the TV broadcast and streaming schedule for every remaining regular-season Dodgers game: