Thursday, June 20, 2024

Max Muncy’s grand slam highlights Dodgers’ latest victory

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  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto pauses on the mound after giving...

    Dodgers pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto pauses on the mound after giving up a solo home run to the Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr. during the first inning on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr. celebrates at home plate after...

    Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr. celebrates at home plate after a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodges during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr., right, is greeted by...

    The Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr., right, is greeted by teammate Nick Gordon as he returns to the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of their game against the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr., right, has his helmet...

    The Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr., right, has his helmet removed and a hat put on as he enters the dugout after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of their game against the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto reacts on the mound during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto reacts on the mound during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Miami Marlins starting pitcher Edward Cabrera throws to the plate...

    Miami Marlins starting pitcher Edward Cabrera throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani reacts at the plate during the...

    Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani reacts at the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani and first base coach Clayton McCullough...

    Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani and first base coach Clayton McCullough react on first base during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, left, rounds second base after a...

    Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, left, rounds second base after a walk was issued to Freddie Freeman during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, left, is safe at second base...

    Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, left, is safe at second base on a pickoff throw to Miami Marlins second baseman Vidal Brujan during the first inning on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Miami Marlins starting pitcher Edward Cabrera throws to the plate...

    Miami Marlins starting pitcher Edward Cabrera throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy watches the flight of his grand...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy watches the flight of his grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy watches the flight of his grand...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy watches the flight of his grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, right, celebrates as he jogs home...

    Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, right, celebrates as he jogs home to score on a grand slam by Max Muncy during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy gestures as he runs the bases...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy celebrates as he runs the bases...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy celebrates as he runs the bases after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy gestures to his dugout as he...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy gestures to his dugout as he runs the bases after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, celebrates with third base coach...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, celebrates with third base coach Dino Ebel as he runs the bases after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, celebrates with teammate Freddie Freeman...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, celebrates with teammate Freddie Freeman after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, second from right, celebrates with teammates...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, second from right, celebrates with teammates Will Smith, second from left, Shohei Ohtani, far left, and Freddie Freeman, right, at home plate after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers rolled to an 8-2 win, their 13th in the past 15 games. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, center, celebrates with teammates Freddie Freeman,...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, center, celebrates with teammates Freddie Freeman, left, and Will Smith after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, center, celebrates with teammates Will Smith,...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, center, celebrates with teammates Will Smith, left, and Freddie Freeman at home plate after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers rolled to an 8-2 win, their 13th in the past 15 games. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy celebrates after hitting a grand slam...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy celebrates after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, left, celebrates with teammate Mookie Betts...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy, left, celebrates with teammate Mookie Betts after hitting a grand slam during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux watches the flight of his two-run...

    The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux watches the flight of his two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux gestures as he runs the bases...

    The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux gestures as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, right, celebrates with teammate Teoscar Hernández...

    The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, right, celebrates with teammate Teoscar Hernández after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, left, celebrates with teammates Teoscar Hernández,...

    The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, left, celebrates with teammates Teoscar Hernández, center, and James Outman after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Will Smith scores on a sacrifice fly hit...

    The Dodgers’ Will Smith scores on a sacrifice fly hit by Andy Pages during the third inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy gestures to the dugout as he...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy gestures to the dugout as he stands on second base after hitting a double during the third inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy celebrates in the dugout after scoring...

    The Dodgers’ Max Muncy celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a throwing error during the third inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the first inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto throws to the plate during the fourth inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto follows through on a pitch...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto follows through on a pitch during the fourth inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto follows through on a pitch...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto follows through on a pitch during the fourth inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani swings at a pitch during the...

    Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani swings at a pitch during the fourth inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts throws out the Miami Marlins’ Jazz...

    Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts throws out the Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr. at first base after a ground ball during the sixth inning on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto reacts after giving up a...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto reacts after giving up a solo home run to the Miami Marlins’ Bryan De La Cruz during the sixth inning on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • A teammate puts on a hat on the Miami Marlins’...

    A teammate puts on a hat on the Miami Marlins’ Bryan De La Cruz in the dugout after he hit a solo home run during the sixth inning of their game against the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The Miami Marlins’ Bryan De La Cruz celebrates with teammates...

    The Miami Marlins’ Bryan De La Cruz celebrates with teammates in the dugout after he hit a solo home run during the sixth inning of their game against the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers center fielder James Outman, right, makes a sliding catch...

    Dodgers center fielder James Outman, right, makes a sliding catch next to left fielder Chris Taylor on a fly ball hit by the Miami Marlins’ Josh Bell during the sixth inning on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers center fielder James Outman, front, reacts after making a...

    Dodgers center fielder James Outman, front, reacts after making a sliding catch for an out on a ball hit by the Miami Marlins’ Josh Bell, in front of left fielder Chris Taylor during the sixth inning on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani rounds first base as he flies...

    Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani rounds first base as he flies out during the sixth inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto smiles on the mound during...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto smiles on the mound during the eighth inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto celebrates after the third out...

    Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto celebrates after the third out of the eighth inning of their game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Feyereisen, left, and catcher Will Smith...

    Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Feyereisen, left, and catcher Will Smith celebrate after the final out of their 8-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy, left, and teammate Kike Hernández...

    Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy, left, and teammate Kike Hernández laugh after their 8-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, center, greets catcher Will Smith after...

    Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, center, greets catcher Will Smith after the team’s 8-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES — As a bench player for the 2013 Dodgers, Miami Marlins manager Skip Schumaker pitched two scoreless innings as a reliever in a pair of blowout losses.

He might be tempted to take the Dodger Stadium mound again before this series is over. It could be his best option.

Max Muncy hit a first-inning grand slam and the Dodgers never looked back, rolling over the Marlins, 8-2, on Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive win and 13th in their past 15 games.

“The last two weeks have been pretty special. It’s a good indicator of what this group is capable of,” Muncy said. “I think everyone in here would admit we let those two (losses) get away from us. But it’s been fun showing up every single day. I know everyone in this clubhouse enjoys it.”

The Dodgers’ two losses during this stretch were a 3-1 loss in Toronto and an extra-innings defeat in Arizona. Overall, they have outscored their opponents 107-30 during this surge, a run differential that reflects just how dominant they have been both on offense and defense.

Dodgers hitters are batting .292 during the 15-game stretch with 27 home runs, averaging 7.13 runs per game.

At the same time, Dodgers pitchers have a 1.79 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

“We’re playing good baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said simply. “Regardless of the team (the opponent), it’s still hard to win a Major League Baseball game. I think we’re just playing complete baseball … and we’re doing this very consistently. I didn’t realize it’s been 13 out of 15. It  just seems like every night we come in and we’re getting a good start, we’re getting big hits, we’re taking good at-bats and winning ballgames. That’s a good formula.”

The Marlins were complicit in their own demise Tuesday. Starter Edward Cabrera walked four of the first 11 Dodgers batters and hit another one. Mookie Betts flew out to start the bottom of the first against Cabrera. The next ball the Dodgers put in play was an opposite-field grand slam by Muncy.

“Will (Smith) had a really good at-bat. Kind of felt like they were more worried about Freddie and Sho on base,” Muncy said. “So they weren’t focused on the pitches. That allowed Will to put together a good at-bat, just like he always does, and gave me a good chance with the bases loaded. I just got a pitch up in the zone and didn’t miss it.”

Cabrera was gone after two innings but reliever George Soriano didn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. He hit the first batter he faced, gave up a broken-bat double to Muncy then walked Teoscar Hernandez to load the bases again.

Andy Pages drove in one run with a sacrifice fly and Marlins catcher Christian Bethancourt drove in another when he threw wildly on an ill-advised pickoff attempt at third base.

Gavin Lux followed by lining a two-run home run into the right field pavilion. A night after Walker Buehler made his first big-league start since June 2022, the home run was Lux’s first since Aug. 15, 2022. Lux missed the 2023 season following a devastating spring knee injury and has gotten off to a slow start this year (a .191 average through Tuesday).

“It was a long recovery road the last year and then you get off to a slow start. Nobody wants to do that,” said Lux, who is still hitting .191. “It felt really good overall and it’s kind of funny that in that situation I’m just trying to hit a fly ball to center field and you just get a pitch you can handle and you do that. Sometimes less is more.”

While the Marlins pitchers searched for the strike zone, Dodgers starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto was filling it up. Jazz Chisholm Jr. ambushed Yamamoto’s first-pitch fastball to start the game. The leadoff home run snapped a 15-inning scoreless streak for Yamamoto but he cruised through the first five innings on just 59 pitches – only 10 of them called balls.

His first 19 pitches were all strikes, the longest streak by a Dodgers pitcher since pitch tracking began in 2000.

“Their lineup, everybody’s overall aggressive. But I stayed ahead in the count,” Yamamoto said through his interpreter.

“In the first inning, I gave up a home run on the first pitch. But after that I stayed calm and I was able to execute my pitches with good mechanics.”

Yamamoto gave up another home run (to Bryan De La Cruz) in the sixth inning but his pitch efficiency allowed him to complete eight innings for the first time in his eight MLB starts. Yamamoto’s 97th and final pitch of the night was a 95-mph fastball blown past De La Cruz for his fifth strikeout of the night.

“Man, I feel like Will just sets up behind the plate and wherever he sets up, Yama throws it right there,” Lux said. “He works quick, he throws strikes. He’s very fun to watch pitch and play defense behind because you’re always engaged. He’s not going to walk people. He’s been really impressive so far.”

The right-hander allowed five hits, didn’t walk a batter and lowered his ERA to 2.79.

“He was fantastic,” Roberts said. “Giving up the first-pitch home run to Chisholm but going back out there and re-setting. I think the first 30-some pitches he might have thrown 29 strikes. It just showed that he didn’t run from the first-pitch home run and took advantage of their aggressiveness by mixing, getting into counts. And he got a lot of quick outs, a lot of weak contact.

“Yoshinobu had his entire mix working – fastball, curveball, the split played really well and then introduced some sliders. Really great job.”

Max Muncy GRAND SLAM! 😮 pic.twitter.com/HL0XT6tPDu

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) May 8, 2024

First of the year for Gavin Lux! 💣 pic.twitter.com/EFITaDd1M0

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) May 8, 2024

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