The Dodgers hit five home runs to wipe out the Reds

CINCINNATI – For two months the Dodgers have been among the leaders of the league in several offensive categories. This was expected at the time they signed Freddie Freeman this spring.

But despite all their success, the Dodgers didn’t have the consistency in all the line-up they expected. Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Will Smith and Freeman, who recorded 10 RBI in their three games against the Reds, led the way for much of the season. Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger, however, have struggled on the plate for most of the year, limiting Los Angeles’ potential.

If the Dodgers are to win the World Series this season, they know those three bats have to move on. In the 10-5 win over the Reds on Thursday afternoon at the Great American Ballpark, the trio made their best games of the season, combining two homers and nine wins.

In the run up to the Reds, the Dodgers offense scored 26 points and recorded 42 hits, the most in a three-game streak since September 2018.

“I thought this was the best offensive streak we’ve had all year,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “We built the first night here and ran into some really good arms. … A lot of really good things came out of it.

With Bellinger, Muncy and Turner all struggling, the Dodgers had to make some tough line-up decisions. Those players’ backgrounds have earned them longer leashes. Roberts said balancing previous seasons’ production with this year’s difficulties was a difficult task.

Last weekend, Roberts moved Turner down in order. Bellinger beat eighth place for the fourth time this season on Thursday. Before Wednesday’s game, Roberts was asked why he keeps hitting Muncy in the cleaning spot despite the slugger’s seasonal fights. Aside from the fact that the Dodgers don’t have better options on the roster, apparently whenever Roberts is asked questions about him star in trouble, he says he’s betting on the back of the baseball card.

Whether those bets pay off for the rest of the season remains to be seen, but they paid off big on Thursday.

Since the infamous intentional game on foot in Chicago, Muncy hadn’t been able to harness that momentum, not logging extra hits in his next 10 games. But on Thursday he turned things up emphatically, throwing a mammoth 434-foot homer against Reds star Hunter Greene in the fifth inning as part of his first three-stroke game of the season.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing for Muncy was that his homer came out of a four-stitch fastball. Muncy entered Thursday’s game by hitting just .141 versus fastball, up from an average of .307 last season.

“I’ve been working hard all year, but maybe a little too much,” Muncy said. “We’re just working on a couple of things mechanically to try and get back to where I need to be. Today it was very rewarding to have the results there. “

Bellinger also took part in the fun against Greene, throwing a no doubt two-point home run with a 3-0 tally to give the Dodgers a five-point lead in the quarter. The homer also came out of a four seams. It was the highlight of Bellinger’s first three-shot match since May 26 against D-backs.

“In this particular series, I thought we had played great baseball all the way, especially on the offensive side,” said Dodgers owner Clayton Kershaw, who conceded one run out of six innings. “Today it was really cool to see Belli do what he does, Muncy hit that ball on the moon. All that stuff is huge for us. “

Turner has also been better at the pot in recent times, registering at least one success in four of his last five games. He, Muncy and Bellinger will still have to find consistency for the Dodgers to remain so optimistic, but Thursday’s effort was a good start.

“A few weeks ago we had a tough time and now we’re hitting like we should,” Bellinger said. “This has been a good show, and it’s Dodger baseball. Not that we expect it every time, but this is what we can do ”.

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