Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager hit consecutive pitches for home runs to ignite a five-run second inning against Johnny Cueto as the Los Angeles Dodgers raced to an early lead and coasted away from the host San Francisco Giants 9-2 in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.
The win was the Dodgers’ 104th of the season, allowing them to equal their 2017 total and move within one of the franchise record, set in Brooklyn in 1953.
Meanwhile, the loss was the 2,027th of outgoing San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy’s career. He will take a 1,052-1,052 record as 13-year Giants skipper into the weekend.
After Cueto (1-2) retired the side in order in the first, Bellinger belted his second pitch of the second inning over the wall in right field for his 47th homer of the season.
Seager then smacked Cueto’s next offering into the seats for his 19th homer and a 2-0 lead.
It became 5-0 five batters later, when Will Smith walked, Gavin Lux lashed an RBI triple and, after two strikeouts, Joc Pederson drilled the inning’s third homer, a two-run shot, his 36th.
Making just his fourth start of the season, Cueto left after two innings, charged with five runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out two.
The Giants chipped away at the deficit with single runs in the second and third, scoring on sacrifice flies by Brandon Crawford and Kevin Pillar.
Right-hander Walker Buehler (14-4), a candidate to start Game 1 of the National League Divisional Series on Thursday, pitched the first five innings to earn his third win over the Giants this season. He left with a 5-2 lead after allowing two runs on five hits, with four walks and eight strikeouts.
The Dodgers broke the game wide open with a four-run eighth. Smith and Enrique Hernandez each had a two-run single in the inning.
Six Dodgers relievers combined for four shutout innings, allowing just three hits.
Bellinger finished with two hits, while he, Seager and Smith scored twice apiece for the Dodgers (104-56), who won their fifth straight.
Evan Longoria and Mauricio Dubon had two hits each for the Giants (77-83), who formally lost the season series to the Dodgers with a 10th loss in 17 meetings.
—Field Level Media