D-backs’ Martinez hits four homers in rout of Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- J.D. Martinez already knew he would fit in with his new Arizona Diamondbacks teammates in July, but their reaction to his milestone game on Monday cemented that.
Nonstop laughing and celebration.
Martinez hit four home runs as the surging Diamondbacks won an 11th consecutive game Monday, routing the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-0 at Dodger Stadium.
Martinez, acquired by Arizona from the Detroit Tigers in July, tied the major league record with four home runs in a game, becoming the 18th player to accomplish that feat.
”Awesome. I think they were more excited than I was,“ Martinez said of his teammates. ”They were all so pumped up. If you guys had been in here before, you would’ve been dying laughing. They were going nuts as I was walking in. It was really cool.
“These guys make me feel at home here. They make me feel comfortable since I’ve gotten here. Through my struggles, and they’ve welcomed me with open arms. They’ve been awesome.”
Martinez is the second player this season to hit four homers in a game. Cincinnati Reds’ Scooter Gennett did it June 6 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Martinez was 4-for-5 with six RBIs. He hit his 34th home run of the year, 18th for Arizona, in the ninth off Wilmer Font after going deep in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings.
Asked what was going through his mind on that fourth homer, Martinez said: ”It’s kind of one of those things where you’re laughing about it. Shocked, no. But it’s one of those things. When you’re seeing the ball well and you hit the ball, if you ask any hitter here, you’re expecting to hit the ball hard every time.
“I don’t think someone goes up there not trying to hit the ball hard. Going up there and hitting it didn’t really shock me. I was just happy it went over (the fence).”
Martinez flied out to right in the final at-bat of his previous three-homer game in 2015. That experience helped him Monday.
“I got to my last at-bat (in 2015) and I started thinking about it and that’s when it didn’t happen,” he said. “In this at-bat, I came up and said, ‘You know what? Just go up here and try to have a good at-bat. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing all day. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. There’s no point in forcing it. Just go up there and have a good at-bat.’ That’s what I was telling myself.”
Martinez’s homer surge was just part of an all-around strong game for Arizona.
Robbie Ray had a career-high 14 strikeouts, and the Diamondbacks hit six home runs in the rout, handing the Dodgers their ninth loss in 10 games.
Ray (12-5) didn’t allow a baserunner until Logan Forsythe singled to lead off the sixth. The left-hander allowed three hits and no walks in 7 2/3 innings. Ray has 53 strikeouts in five starts against the Dodgers this season.
“They’re a tough lineup,” Ray said. “They played really good matchups, a lot of righties. I’ve had trouble with some of the guys in the past, but I stuck to my game plan. Me and (catcher Chris Herrmann) were on the same page all night.”
The Diamondbacks (80-58), who are in line for the first wild-card spot in the National League, have scored five or more runs in eight consecutive games.
Ray has had Los Angeles’ number this season. He is the first major league pitcher to have four games of 10 or more strikeouts in a single season against the Dodgers. On Monday, he logged the most strikeouts for an Arizona pitcher against Los Angeles since Randy Johnson had 15 on Aug. 31, 2004.
Martinez hit his four home runs off four pitchers -- Rich Hill (9-7), Pedro Baez, Josh Fields and Font.
“It’s cool,” Martinez said. “I don’t really pay attention to that.”
He hit a two-run shot to left field to give the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. He added a solo home run in the seventh off Baez, who had just come in to relieve Hill.
Brandon Drury, the next batter, also hit a solo shot off Baez, who then gave up consecutive singles. Baez was booed loudly and chased from the game without recording an out.
Adam Rosales hit a two-run homer to right off Fields in the eighth to give the Diamondbacks a 9-0 lead. Fields allowed two home runs in relief.
Hill gave up just two runs on two hits in six innings. He struck out nine and walked one.
”It’s continuing to put the work in,“ Hill said of the Dodgers finding their way out of this tough stretch. ”As long as guys come in and don’t change their routine. Don’t start doing something different because we’re in a little bit of a slide here or anything different than what you’ve been doing before.
“Minus the record and minus where we are in the standings, we’re there for a reason. It’s because we’ve put that effort in every single day, and to everyone’s credit, we’ve stayed very consistent.”
Hill’s lone mistake was the home run he allowed to Martinez. He wasn’t alone in that department.
“Hill was great,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I thought about having him go another inning, but you’ve got to score. Even if we got another guy on base, to have Rich bunt against Robbie Ray wasn’t going to happen. I felt that gave us the best chance to score a run. That’s my thought.”
The Dodgers (92-45) still have the best record in baseball.
NOTES: Dodgers INF Corey Seager (elbow) took grounders on Monday. He is expected to be back in the lineup for the series against Colorado from Sept. 8-10. ... Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt (right elbow) was not in the lineup for precautionary measures. He returned to Arizona on Monday to get an MRI exam. ... Diamondbacks INF Nick Ahmed (fractured wrist) will need surgery, according to MLB.com. .... Dodgers RHP Brandon McCarthy (right finger blister) was moved to the 60-day disabled list and will next pitch for Class A Rancho Cucamonga in the postseason. ... The Dodgers selected the contract of INF Charlie Culberson, and he started at shortstop Monday in place of Seager. ... The Dodgers reinstated RHP Josh Fields (lower back strain) from the 10-day disabled list ... OF Joc Pederson, OF Tracye Thompson and RHP Walker Buehler are all expected to join the Dodgers on Wednesday after Triple-A Oklahoma City’s season is over.