Mookie Betts hits three home runs in Dodgers' win – Los Angeles Times
As Mookie Betts maneuvered through the Dodgers’ dugout, dishing fist bumps and air fives after his second home run of Thursday night, a voice was overheard amid the celebratory clamor.
“Who’s next?” someone on the Dodgers’ bench asked, eager for more offense following the team’s fifth home run in the first four frames of an eventual 11-2 win over the San Diego Padres.
An inning later, it turned out to be Betts again.
Betts bashed his way into the MLB record books Thursday with his sixth career game of at least three home runs, matching an all-time mark previously shared by only Sammy Sosa and Johnny Mize. That pair played 33 combined seasons in their big-league careers. Betts’ history-making masterpiece came in only his seventh MLB campaign.
Hitting leadoff for the first time since Aug. 2, Betts didn’t get a chance to swing his first at-bat Thursday, getting drilled in the side with a fastball from Padres starter Chris Paddack. But on his next three trips to the plate, the former American League MVP didn’t miss.
In the second inning, Betts drove an outside Paddack fastball the other way, sending a two-run shot to right-center field. In the fourth, he jumped on a high fastball from reliever Luis Perdomo that cleared the fence in left-center.
And when an overturned double-play extended the Dodgers’ threat in the fifth, Betts clobbered a two-run blast that landed among a collection of cardboard fans in the first few rows of the left-field seats — artificial witnesses to his wizardry at the dish.
Only once Betts rounded the bases did the weight of the moment crystalize. He lit up as teammates greeted him at the plate and laughed as he put his gear away in the dugout, taking a swig from his extra-large canteen while his accomplishment was beamed across the TV broadcast’s screen.
Betts wasn’t the only Dodger to go deep Thursday. Corey Seager, returning from a five-day absence because of a back injury, brought Betts home in the first inning with a long ball to right. AJ Pollock crushed a solo shot to left later in the first inning, temporarily taking the team lead in big flies with his fifth of the season. And an at-bat before Betts’ dinger in the fourth, Austin Barnes belted a two-run homer to left, combining with Betts for the first back-to-back home runs from Dodger hitters this season.
It initially looked like Betts, who also collected his first four-hit game of the year after reaching on an infield single in the seventh, wouldn’t get to hit in the fifth after Barnes rolled into what was initially ruled an inning-ending double-play. But the Dodgers’ successfully challenged the play, as the video review revealed Padres second baseman Jurickson Profar didn’t step on the bag while making the turn.
After getting ahead three-and-one in the ensuing two-out at-bat, Betts launched a center-cut splitter high into the night sky, collecting his seventh home run as a Dodger and matching Justin Turner with a team-high 15 RBI.
It was Betts’ first multi-home-run game since coming to Los Angeles this offseason and his first three-homer outing since July 26 of last season, when he tripled up the New York Yankees at Fenway Park as a member of the Boston Red Sox. According to STATS Inc, it was also Betts’ third time hitting three home runs in the first five innings of a game, a feat unmatched in baseball history.