Fifty-one and fabulous.
Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, and Cody Bellinger all homered, as the Los Angeles Dodgers eclipsed the half-century mark for home runs in the month of June in their 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
"We hit the ball out of the ballpark," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts when asked if he expects his team to hit multiple home runs on a nightly basis now. "It seems like every time Max comes up the ball is going to go far, and the way Joc has been swinging the bat this month, and Cody, all of our guys it just seems like they're taking really good swings."
Following a lopsided loss on Tuesday without a homer, Los Angeles evened season series with the Cubs at three games apiece.
The Boys in Blue got off to a bad start as Wilson Contreras unloaded on an 84 MPH knuckle curve from Alex Wood that landed in the short porch in left field to give Chicago a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
"It was a really good pitch I threw to him, and he's not great on spin, so it caught be my surprised," Wood said of the homer to Contreras. "I thought it was a really good breaking ball and I was just shocked he was able to put that swing on it. They got off to a good start early, but we were able to bear down and were good the rest of the way."
The Dodgers would bounce back in the bottom half of the inning as Max Muncy hit his team-leading 16th home run of the season
Muncy has dominated in the month of June, hitting nine of his 16 homers this month, the second most in the Majors.
Yasmani Grandal nearly missed a home run of his own a few batters later, and settled for a two-run double that gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.
Pederson broke the game open with a two-run shot in the bottom of the second inning as the Dodgers raced out to an early 6-2 lead off Cubs' starter Kyle Hendricks.
"Right now we're swinging that bat really well and hitting is contagious," said Pederson of his home run. "We just pass the baton and work some at-bats and get the pitchers working a little bit and we're able to capitalize off mistakes."
Pederson has also been on fire in the month of the June, hitting 10 longballs which is tied for the most in the Majors with the Mariners' Nelson Cruz and Diamondbacks' slugger Paul Goldschmidt.
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Hendricks (5-8) would only last one more inning as the once lights out right-hander allowed six runs on eight hits with two walks and just one strikeout in a season-low 2 and 2/3 innings.
"Hendricks has given us fits over the last few years," said Roberts. "Tonight we had some good at-bats early. We took the walk when we needed to take the walk. We slugged him, which was great."
Hendricks' start was the shortest outing of his career since he pitched three innings on Sept. 17, 2015 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Outside of the first inning, Dodgers' starter Alex Wood cruised through the Cubs lineup, putting together three consecutive victories after an uninspiring start to the season.
Wood (4-5) allowed three runs on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven solid innings.
"You never want to give away runs early, especially to a team like the Cubs, but for us to answer back in the first gave me confidence," said Wood of the team's answer in the first frame. "I was able to go back out there and throw up some zeroes."
In his last three starts, Wood has gone 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA, while striking out 15 batters against three walks.
"Three wins in a row is fun, you know?" said Wood of his three-game winning streak. "It's better than the alternative. I guess you have to hold the other team to as a few runs as possible and the way we've been swinging the bat it's been a lot of fun to watch."
Wood also collected his first hit of the season with a single in the second inning.
"I came back in and I think Clayton [Kershaw] got my first hit of the year authenticated," said Wood of the ball that he singled on. "It was nice to finally get on the board."
The Cubs mounted a comeback off the Dodgers bullpen in the top of the eighth inning, scoring two runs on a double to the right-center gap by Contreras that cut the lead to 6-5.
Conteras drove in four of the five Chicago runs, finishing the night 2-for-4 with a home run and a double.
in his last eight road games, Contreras is batting .357 with three runs, two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI.
Cody Bellinger provided a much needed insurance with one swing as he tied Muncy for the team-lead in homers with his 16th of the season in the bottom of the eighth.
"He threw me a heater and I tried to put a good swing on it," said Bellinger of the blast. "Honestly, I was lucky to barrel it up and it got out of here. It felt pretty good to do that."
Kenley Jansen entered the game in relief in the eighth and recorded his 21st save of the season via the four-out variety.
The Dodgers became the first team in baseball to eclipse 50 home runs in the month of June and now have 51, just two shy of the franchise record for the most home runs in a single month set by the 2017 team last June.
"We hit a lot of homers," continued Bellinger. "It's scary facing us and we're clicking right now and it's been fun to be a part of."
The Baltimore Orioles have the MLB record for most home runs in a single month with 58 in 1987, and in the month of June with 56 set last year.
The finale of the four-game series between the Dodgers and Cubs features a rare weekday afternoon game as LHP Jose Quintana faces three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw at 12:10PM PST.
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