Death by solo shots.
Alex Wood pitched seven scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers hit three solo homers while stretching their winning streak to five games with a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
Cody Bellinger and Manny Machado hit first-pitch homers off Mike Minor (10-7). Yasmani Grandal also went deep for the defending National League champion Dodgers.
"Yesterday my left-handed swing clicked a little bit," said the switch-hitting catcher Grandal who homered from the left-hand side after the southpaw pitcher Minor left the game. "Hopefully everything comes together at the right time."
Los Angeles started the day within a game of NL West co-leaders Arizona and idle Colorado. The Diamondbacks, who open a big four-game series in Los Angeles on Thursday night, played later Wednesday night at San Francisco.
Wood (8-6) limited the Rangers to four singles, throwing 67 of 98 pitches for strikes with five strikeouts and two walks. The lefty had faced the Rangers only once before, pitching at Texas for Atlanta four years ago when he struck out nine and allowed a run on four hits.
"It's always nice when you can go deep into the game," said Wood who threw seven shutout innings. "When you play an AL team in their park there's always a little bit more room for the starting pitcher. It was a good night."
His manager agreed with his pitcher's assessment and credited Wood's ability to keep the ball down, especially to left-handed hitters as the reason for his success.
"He kept the ball down," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts about Wood. "There was a lane he continued to throw through. Consistently, all night he was down."
Kenta Maeda, a 20-game starter for the Dodgers this season, worked the ninth instead of struggling closer Kenley Jansen to get his first save since June 2017 despite giving up an RBI double to Adrian Beltre.
"He just didn't have the feel tonight," Roberts said of Maeda who earned his first save of the season. "But, he still got out of it."
Beltre, baseball's active career hits leader, matched Robin Young for 17th on the all-time list with his 3,142nd hit.
The solo homers by Bellinger and Machado were the only hits and runs off Minor in his six innings. The lefty, a teammate of Wood's in Atlanta in 2013-14, struck out seven and walked three.
Bellinger's 21st homer of the season put the Dodgers ahead to stay in the third inning. Machado hit the first pitch of the fourth into almost the same spot on the hill in straightway center field. That was Machado"s 32nd homer this season, his eighth in 37 games for Los Angeles since being traded last month from the Baltimore Orioles.
Grandal hit his 22nd homer in the eighth off reliever Alex Claudio.
OUT AT HOME
Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig, in the lineup while awaiting a ruling on his appeal of a two-game suspension from a bench-clearing incident Aug. 16 against San Francisco, had a two-out triple in the seventh inning. He was thrown out trying to steal home even after getting a good jump off third base against Claudio. Puig didn't play Tuesday after his appeal hearing.
THE OTHER LEAGUE
The Dodgers wrapped up their interleague schedule with a 12-8 record. They won all four games against the Rangers, including two at Dodger Stadium in June. Texas is 7-10 against NL teams, and has to sweep its three-game series at San Diego from Sept. 14-16 to avoid its first losing record in interleague play in 12 seasons.
Dodgers: After their only two road games in a 15-game stretch, the Dodgers are back home Thursday night for the opener of that NL West showdown against Arizona. Rich Hill is 0-5 in seven starts against the Diamondbacks since getting traded to Los Angeles two years ago.
Rangers: Texas has its second scheduled day off in four days Thursday before a three-game weekend series at home against Minnesota.