Los Angeles Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger looks to add to his record-setting numbers Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series against the visiting San Diego Padres. Bellinger went 3-for-3 and blasted his 34th home run in Saturday’s 6-3 victory as the Dodgers improved to 27-5 since July 4 and took a 17-game lead in the National League West.
Bellinger’s emergence means injured first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (herniated disk) will adjust to a part-time role when he returns from the disabled list next weekend, with Bellinger seeing everyday playing time at first and left field. “Where (Gonzalez) is at in his career, he understands what your body allows you to do,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters. “The one thing he wants to do is win a championship.” San Diego has lost five of its last seven games but has been encouraged by the play of rookie outfielder Jose Pirela, who is 10-for-20 during his six-game hitting streak. Wil Myers has homered in three of his last four games and appears to be slowly rediscovering his form from last season, when he batted .259 with a career-high 28 homers and 94 RBIs.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, FSN San Diego, SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres RH Luis Perdomo (6-6, 4.81 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Kenta Maeda (10-4, 3.69)
Perdomo is looking to build on his solid outing against Cincinnati on Tuesday, when he allowed two runs over six innings in a 7-3 victory. The 24-year-old Dominican owns a 3.70 ERA in seven day games compared to a 5.48 ERA in 13 outings at night. Yasiel Puig is 5-for-7 and Corey Seager is 6-for-15 against Perdomo, who has gone 1-3 with an 8.63 ERA six career games (three starts) against the Dodgers.
Maeda has lowered his ERA in each of his last five outings and looked sharp again on Tuesday against Arizona, allowing one run with six strikeouts over five innings. The 29-year-old has gone 6-1 with a 2.11 ERA in his last eight starts, with 36 strikeouts against nine walks over that stretch. Maeda is 2-3 with a 4.29 ERA in seven career starts against San Diego while limiting Myers to three hits with eight strikeouts in 16 at-bats.
1. Los Angeles owns the majors’ best home record at 48-14, including a 27-4 mark over its last 31 games.
2. Padres LHP Brad Hand has not allowed a single run in his last 12 appearances against the Dodgers, striking out 26 in 14 1/3 innings.
3. Dodgers RHP Chris Hatcher (shoulder inflammation) is expected to be activated from the disabled list prior to Sunday’s game.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 7, Padres 3