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A.J. Pollock and Matt Beaty took out their frustrations on the Milwaukee Brewers’ injury-riddled pitching staff and made franchise history for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pollock drove in eight runs and Matt Beatty drove in seven, with both players hitting early grand slams in a startling power show that sent the Dodgers over the Brewers 16-4 on Sunday.
The World Series champion Dodgers won for just the second time in their last eight games.
“As a team, we just needed to be able to breathe a little bit,” Pollock said. “It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us.”
Pollock homered twice and doubled while Beaty went 4 of 6 and scored three times. Their slams came against Alec Bettinger, who gave up 11 runs in his big league debut after never pitching above Double-A.
“We gave him a tough assignment today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
This was the first time the Dodgers had two players with at least seven RBIs in the same game. The last time it happened for any MLB team was on Aug. 22, 2007, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez each had seven RBIs for the Texas Rangers in a 30-3 blowout of the Baltimore Orioles.
The last time two Dodgers hit grand slams in the same game came when Adrian Beltre and Shawn Green did it in a 12-3 victory over the Florida Marlins on May 21, 2000.
“That was a lot of fun,” Beaty said.
Pollock’s eight RBIs matched the highest single-game total by any player in the history of American Family Field, which opened in April 2001 as Miller Park. He shares the record with Josh Willingham (2009) and Yasmani Grandal (2015). All three did it as visiting players.
Chris Taylor scored five runs, going 3 for 3 to help the Dodgers pull out of their collective slump.
“That’s what we’re used to doing, going up there, putting up good at bats, putting balls in play, moving guys over,” Beaty said.
Jacob Nottingham hit two homers for the Brewers, who reacquired him from Seattle earlier in the day. The Mariners had claimed Nottingham off waivers from the Brewers last week.
Dodgers starter Julio Urias (4-0) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out 10 and walked none.
The Brewers were seeking to sweep a four-game series from the Dodgers for only the second time. Milwaukee recorded a four-game sweep at Dodger Stadium in May 2012.
But in a matchup featuring two decimated rosters – these two teams have a combined 27 players on the injured list – the Brewers ran out of healthy proven pitchers.
Pollock hit a slam in the first inning, a three-run homer off Jordan Zimmermann in the sixth and an RBI double in the eighth. Beaty had an RBI infield hit in the first, a slam in the second and a two-run single in the fourth.
Bettinger (0-1) allowed 11 runs on 11 hits and two walks in four innings. He hit a batter and struck out none — he did, however, retire Dodgers star Mookie Betts in all three at-bats.
“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. We put the pressure on him early.”
The 25-year-old righty nearly escaped with a scoreless first.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Beaty hit a slow roller along the right side of the infield but ended up with a single when Bettinger couldn’t put his foot on the bag in time after taking the throw from first baseman Keston Hiura.
Pollock followed that up with a grand slam over the center-field wall that put the Dodgers ahead 5-0. The Dodgers made it 9-0 in the second inning when Beaty delivered a two-out grand slam over the outstretched arm of a leaping Avisaíl García in right field.
Bettinger didn’t want to speculate on what might have happened if he’d made the play on Beaty’s infield hit.
“The inning would have gone a lot different, but you can’t predict the future and how everything would have gone after that,” Bettinger said. “Maybe it would have settled me in. Maybe a similar outcome. All that’s important is we won the series, and move on to the next one.”
Dodgers: RHP Dustin May went on the 10-day injured list with an injured right arm and will undergo an MRI on Monday. May threw just 27 pitches Saturday before leaving in obvious discomfort in the second inning.
Brewers: OF Christian Yelich and OF Lorenzo Cain are expected to return to action during the Brewers’ upcoming series in Philadelphia. President of baseball operations David Stearns said it’s possible they could be ready Monday. Yelich hasn’t played since April 11 due to a lower back strain. Cain is recovering from a left quad strain and last played on April 13.
Dodgers: At Chicago on Monday to begin a three-game series with the Cubs. Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.16 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers. Kyle Hendricks (1-3, 7.54) starts for the Cubs.
Brewers: At Philadelphia on Monday to start a four-game series that opens a seven-game trip. Scheduled starters are Adrian Houser (2-2, 3.65) for the Brewers and Vince Velasquez (0-0, 6.57) for the Phillies.
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