Max Muncy and James Outman each homer twice in Dodgers’ complete offensive showing

The Dodgers' Max Muncy points skyward after he hit a ninth-inning home run April 22, 2023, at Wrigley Field.
The Dodgers’ Max Muncy points skyward after he hit a ninth-inning home run. Muncy homered twice in the Dodgers’ 9-4 win over the Cubs in Chicago and has an MLB-high 10 homers this season.
(Erin Hooley / Associated Press)

Max Muncy homered twice, tying him for the major league lead with 10 on the season.

James Outman added his own pair of bombs, breaking a franchise rookie record with seven before the start of May.

As has often been the case for the homer-happy Dodgers, it was the long ball that led them to a 9-4 victory Saturday over the Chicago Cubs, adding four to their National League-leading total 40 over the season’s first month.


This time, however, home runs weren’t the only source of scoring from their feast-or-famine lineup.

This time, the Dodgers landed a couple of early jabs before their big-fly knockout punch.

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“We scored on the long ball,” said Outman, who was in the middle of it all with a career-high four hits and four RBIs. “[But we were also] scoring on just getting guys on, moving them over and getting them in.”

It was the type of performance the Dodgers (11-11) had been lacking during their up-and-down start to the season, a potentially promising blueprint for what manager Dave Roberts acknowledged had been an “inconsistent” offense.

“When we’re good, we’re really good,” Roberts said before the game. “When we’re not, there’s a lot of quick innings.”

The Dodgers' James Outman reacts after hitting a home run during the ninth inning.
The Dodgers’ James Outman reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning. The rookie homered twice among his career-best four hits and had four RBIs.
(Erin Hooley / Associated Press)

Saturday was something different.

A lineup that had seemingly had six or seven automatic outs in recent weeks — with Will Smith sidelined by a concussion (he won’t return until at least the next homestand, Roberts said) and Mookie Betts missing time on the paternity list — got 11 hits from six different players and had a seventh reach base with one of the team’s five walks.

A unit that had recently struggled with runners in scoring position — entering Saturday with a .214 batting average in those situations over its last eight games — went three for 11, going down in order only one time.


Most of all, the Dodgers’ offense was able to build an early lead against the surging Cubs (12-8), shaking off the dust following their one-hit shutout Friday afternoon.

“Yesterday was tough for all of us,” Outman said. “We wanted to come out and do better.”

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Outman aided that cause early.

In the top of the second inning, he smashed a hanging two-strike slider to right for a solo home run.

In the fourth, his broken-bat single added another run — though this time, it was set up by a couple of productive at-bats from the hitters in front of him, with J.D. Martinez leading the inning off with a down-the-line double before advancing to third on a grounder from Jason Heyward.

“J-Hey … wanting to move the guy over to third, and Outy to get a little broken bat out there,” Muncy said. “When you have a whole lineup doing that, it gets contagious.”

A similar script played out in the sixth inning.

Martinez drew a leadoff walk. Outman lifted a single to center field. Then Miguel Vargas came off the bench and lined an RBI base hit up the middle, making it 4-2 Dodgers after Dustin May’s solid six-strikeout, 5⅓-inning start.

Dodgers starter Dustin May delivers during the first inning April 22, 2023.
Dodgers starter Dustin May gave up two runs in 5⅓ innings and earned the win, going to 2-1 this season.
(Erin Hooley / Associated Press)

“We kept grinding at-bats,” Roberts said. “I thought overall, all the way up and down our lineup, really good plans today.”

From there, Muncy and Outman took care of the rest.

Muncy hammered a two-run homer in the seventh, opening up a four-run lead. Then, after Nico Hoerner hit his own two-run blast off struggling Dodgers reliever Yency Almonte, Muncy and Outman went deep in the ninth — becoming the first Dodgers teammates with multiple home runs in the same game since July 2021.

“It just feels good,” Muncy said of his recent tear, a 12-game stretch in which he has batted .382 with nine home runs and 17 RBIs.

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As for his rookie teammate?

“He’s a good player,” Muncy said of Outman. “He works hard. He’s smart. And he’s always talking about what a pitcher is doing, what we think, what we feel about certain guys. For a guy that doesn’t have a lot of experience with a lot of these pitchers, it’s really impressive for him to be so open to what we talk to him about.”

It was another example of what the Dodgers hope will be rapid improvement for their offense.

They have shown they can score in bunches. They know they can leave the yard. What they need now is more consistent production to supplement it all, for a game like Saturday’s to become their new norm.