Cody Bellinger on Saturday night did not know until first base umpire Bill Miller signaled home run that he had given the surging Los Angeles Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the slumping Colorado Rockies.
After rounding third base to fake crowd noise, seeing cutouts in the Dodger Stadium stands and not being mobbed by teammates at home plate, he admitted it was a satisfying win, albeit bizarre at the same time.
“The crowd noise was good, but the celebration was strange with everyone jumping with their hands in the air. It felt like a [Nintendo] Wii sports game,” Bellinger said.
Photo: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY
The reigning National League MVP drove a slider from Daniel Bard (1-2) just over the glove of Rockies right fielder Sam Hilliard for his seventh home run of the season and the second walk-off shot of his career.
Bellinger said he lost track of the ball and manager Dave Roberts said it was weird to judge because the line drive had plenty of top spin.
After everyone was sure it went over the fence, though, Roberts’ first instinct was to yell to his players to properly social distance during the celebration at home plate.
Photo: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY
Such is life in sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re used to jumping on each other so I was trying to do my part,” Roberts said. “We miss the fans every game but this is the first time where it really showed with the climax of a walk off and they would have been on their feet.”
Chris Taylor also homered for the Dodgers, who have won 10 of 11. They are 12-2 this season when hitting at least two home runs.
Kenley Jansen (1-0) got the win after coming on to get the last out of the ninth inning.
Hilliard, who homered for the Rockies, thought he was going to rob Bellinger at the wall and was surprised the drive had enough distance.
Colorado have dropped six straight overall, and 15 of their last 16 at Chavez Ravine.
“It just kind of snuck out,” Hilliard said of Bellinger’s home run. “It’s frustrating. We definitely want to beat this team.”
The Dodgers quickly went up 1-0 in the first.
Mookie Betts drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on Corey Seager’s single to left and scored when Seager was caught in a rundown between first and second.
They added to their lead in the second when Taylor’s solo shot to right field just cleared the wall. Taylor took Kyle Freeland to a full count before connecting on the eighth pitch of the at-bat for his second homer of the season.
Hilliard began the Rockies’ rally by tattooing Dustin May’s sinker 431 feet over the wall in right-center leading off the third. Colorado tied it in the sixth when Trevor Story scored on Nolan Arenado’s sacrifice fly.
The Rockies took a 3-2 lead in the seventh after Ryan McMahon scored on a wild pitch by Blake Treinen.
Los Angeles tied it in the bottom half when Justin Turner came home as Taylor grounded into a double play.
In other games on Saturday, it was:
‧ Padres 13, Astros 2
‧ White Sox 7, Cubs 4
‧ Angels 4, Athletics 3
‧ Rays 2, Blue Jays 1
‧ Orioles 5, Red Sox 4
‧ Mariners 10, Rangers 1
‧ Braves 6, Phillies 5
‧ Cardinals 3, Reds 0
‧ Indians 6, Tigers 1
‧ Giants 5, Diamondbacks 1
‧ Twins 7, Royals 2
‧ Pirates 12, Brewers 5
‧ Nationals 5, Marlins 4 (game 1)
‧ Marlins 5, Nationals 3 (game 2)
Additional reporting by Reuters
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