A.J. Pollock, Matt Beaty combine for 15 RBIs as Dodgers break out – Daily Bulletin

You get a grand slam. And you get a grand slam. And …

The breakout the Dodgers had promised was coming even as they hit .180 as a team over their previous 14 games arrived in grand fashion on a Sunday fun day in Milwaukee. A.J. Pollock and Matt Beaty hit grand slams in the first two innings and combined to drive in 15 runs as the Dodgers bombed the Brewers, 16-4.

The Dodgers had managed just seven runs total while losing the first three games of the series in Milwaukee. Pollock drove in eight on Sunday and Beaty seven.

“Oh, yeah, that was a lot of fun,” said Beaty who has reached base 15 times in 23 plate appearances since returning from a brief demotion to the alternate training site. “That’s the at-bats that we’re used to taking — really good at-bats, hitting the ball hard, getting guys on base, moving guys over. That was what we’re used to today so that was a lot of fun.”

Beaty and Pollock are the first pair of Dodger hitters to each drive in at least seven runs in the same game. It hadn’t happened in the National League since 1944 and only six times in the majors since RBIs became an official stat in 1920. Pollock’s eight RBIs are one short of matching the franchise record shared by James Loney (in 2006) and Gil Hodges (1950).

The two-grand slam game was only the third in Los Angeles Dodgers history, the first since Shawn Green and Adrian Beltre each hit grand slams in Miami on May 21, 2000.

Eight different Dodgers had hits in the game — including every starting position player except Mookie Betts — as they snapped a three-game losing streak, winning for just the second time in their past eight games. Chris Taylor reached base six times (three singles, a walk and hit by pitches twice) and scored all five runs. That is the most by a Dodger since Green set the franchise record by scoring six runs during his four-home run game on May 23, 2002 in Milwaukee.

The offensive explosion came on the worst day of Brewers starter Alec Bettinger’s big-league career — and also the first.

The 25-year-old right-hander was called up to make his major-league debut Sunday and loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning. When Beaty bounced a ground ball to first baseman Keston Hiura, it looked like Bettinger would survive his first big-league inning unharmed.

Bettinger took the throw from Hiura and stabbed at the base only to miss, allowing a run to score and Beaty to reach base with the first of his four hits. Bettinger’s day went downhill quickly from there. Pollock sent a 1-and-1 slider over the wall in center field for the Dodgers’ first grand slam of the day.

“It seems like when things don’t go well, calls and certain game situations don’t happen but it was good that something broke our way,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

As he rounded first base and the first of his two home runs in the game cleared the outfield wall, Pollock yelled and pumped his fist. It was as if the bubble of frustration that had been building for Dodger hitters finally popped.

“I did (feel that way). He’s not a crazy emotional guy,” Roberts said of Pollock’s reaction. “You don’t always want to kind of sit back and wait for that big hit but that was a big hit and broke it open. So I think that the dugout felt it. His teammates felt it and certainly he did.”

It happened again in the second inning. The Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs. This time, Beaty drove a first-pitch fastball from Bettinger over the wall in right field for his first career grand slam.

When Bettinger’s first day in the majors was over, he had allowed 11 runs and sported a 24.75 ERA for his big-league career.

“We know what it’s like to make a debut,” Pollock said. “You have a lot of different emotions. You have a lot of adrenaline. … I think we did a good job of making it tough on him. For sure, it’s a tough game. I feel for him a little bit. But we needed that one. I’m sure facing this lineup is a tough first game for anyone.”

Beaty drove in two more runs with a single in the fourth inning. Pollock rolled his seven with a three-run home run off Brewers reliever Jordan Zimmermann in the sixth inning then added another RBI on an eighth-inning double, coming close to his third home run of the game.

“JT (Justin Turner) brought it up after AJ’s last home run,” Beaty said of the in-game RBI race between him and Pollock. “But I didn’t really notice that we had that many RBI. I just knew that up and down the lineup we were having a really good day.”

Julio Urias had an at-bat before he threw his first pitch — always a good sign for a starting pitcher. Able to slip it into cruise control, he went seven efficient innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out 10 and giving much needed rest to a bullpen that had to cover 15 innings in the previous two games.

“It was good for us, especially getting up early and then being able to play with a lead,” said Pollock of the Dodgers who had lost six one-run games in their previous 12. “I think as a team we just needed to be able to breathe a little bit. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us. We know it was gonna turn. But yeah, it was nice to play a game where we can just have some fun out there, just get some separation.”


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