The Dodgers didn’t hit a home run in the first two games against the Reds in homer-haven Great American Ball Park and only managed one on Sunday. They made up for lost time in Monday’s matinee, though, which ended up an 18-9 victory.
It started with a three-run shot by Adrian Gonzalez in the first.
That was merely a sign of things to come, both for Gonzalez and the Dodgers.
Andrew Toles and Rob Segedin would go deep back-to-back in the fifth. A few hitters later, Corey Seager and Gonzalez also went back-to-back, giving the Dodgers four homers in the inning and five on the day.
They weren’t done, neither Gonzalez nor his teammates. In the seventh, Gonzalez hit another three-run shot and was immediately followed by Yasmani Grandal with a home run. Yes, the Dodgers went back-to-back three times in one game. History.
1st time in #Dodgers history with 3 separate sets of back-to-back HRs (excludes 4 consec HR in 9th inning 9-18-2006)
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 22, 2016
In all, the Dodgers hit seven home runs. It was just the fifth time in franchise history that the club hit seven bombs in a game. It also happened in 1976, 1979 and 2006. Only one time did the Dodgers hit more. On May 23, 2002, they hit eight homers against the Brewers. Four of those came from one man, Shawn Green.
Believe it or not, the 18 runs didn’t really distinguish themselves in Dodgers history. The club record for runs in a game is 23 (July 10, 1943) and there are 23 instances of the Dodgers scoring more than 18 runs in a game.
Of course, this was a record for a team in Great American Ball Park. The previous high was 17 by the Diamondbacks in 2005. The combined 27 runs were also a ballpark record.
As for Gonzalez, this marked the second three-homer game of his career. He also hit three on April 8 of 2015 during his barrage that included five homers in the first three games of the season. He also had eight RBI on Monday and that easily breaks his previous career high.
Gonzalez entered August with a .283/.360/.406 batting line. That’s acceptable overall, but that .406 slugging percentage from a first baseman who hits in the middle of the order is very low. To wit, the average NL first baseman is slugging .463 this season.
Once August hit, though, Gonzalez started to turn it around and it wasn’t just Monday. From Aug. 2 through Sunday, Gonzalez was hitting .368/.411/.603 with seven doubles and three home runs. With the big boost on Monday, his season-long line is up to .299/.369/.458 along with 15 homers and 70 RBI. This is a lot more palatable from a run-producing first baseman.
The win moves the Dodgers to a one-game lead over the Giants in the NL West with a head-to-head three-game series in Dodger Stadium starting on Tuesday night. That game will be the first of nine remaining between the two rivals.