LOS ANGELES — Blizzards for everyone.
Down 0-and-2 with two outs in the eighth inning, Dairy Queen spokesman – and struggling hitter – Cody Bellinger fouled off three pitches to stay alive then drilled a curveball 383 feet into the right field seats for a grand slam that broke a tie game and lifted the Dodgers to a 5-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.
Bellinger’s first home run since July 1 set off a blizzard of cheers. He came out of the dugout for a curtain call and chants of “Co-dy! Co-dy!” greeted him as he trotted out to center field for the ninth inning – heady stuff for a .208 hitter.
For the second night in a row, though, the Dodgers got help from the Giants’ clumsy defense.
With the score tied, 1-1, in the eighth, Freddie Freeman led off with his second hit of the night. After Will Smith flew out to the warning track in left field, Freeman moved up on a wild pitch.
He went to third when Max Muncy’s 100.9 mph ground ball straight at first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. (freshly in the game after pinch-hitting in the top of the inning) went off his glove and through his legs.
Gavin Lux struck out – which should have been the third out of the inning. But Jake Lamb loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch, setting up Bellinger’s heroics.
The Dodgers’ first run of the game was an even more direct gift from Giants starter Logan Webb.
Thursday night’s hero, Mookie Betts, led off with a single before Webb retired the next two batters. But then he walked three in a row, missing the strike zone 12 times in 16 pitches, to force in a run.
Webb’s wanderlust lasted two innings. He walked four of the first nine Dodgers batters, faced 11 and threw 51 pitches in the first two innings, missing the strike zone with more than half of them (26).
The Giants right-hander found his way back to the strike zone after that, though, and the Dodgers had missed an opportunity. Webb retired 11 of the next 14 batters he faced. Back-to-back singles by Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman with two outs in the fifth put some more heat on Webb but he got Will Smith to fly out.
Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson had a smoother ride through his six innings.
Anderson retired the first eight Giants batters in order and ran into trouble with two outs in the fourth only after third baseman Muncy made a wild throw to first base as Thairo Estrada beat out an infield single.
That put runners at first and third for Yermin Mercedes, who dumped an RBI single into right field to tie the score.
The Giants had a chance to take the lead in the top of the eighth when a single by Wade off reliever Yency Almonte and a walk of Evan Longoria put two on with two out. Lefty Alex Vesia came in to face pinch-hitter David Villar and escaped when Villar bumped a ground ball to the right side on a checked swing.
More to come on this story.