'Rally banana' does wonders for Dodgers

'Rally banana' does wonders for Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- As the Dodgers tied a franchise record with 35 straight scoreless innings in the midst of Friday's game, something had to change.

Enter super-utilityman Kiké Hernandez and the "rally banana."

In the fifth inning of a scoreless game, Hernandez reached for the first thing he saw in the dugout -- a banana -- and the Dodgers promptly snapped the streak with a leadoff single by Justin Hunter (who advanced to second on an error in the outfield) immediately followed by an RBI double by Andre Ethier.

"I said, 'I'm on the bench, I've got to help my team somehow, we've got to come up with something,'" Hernandez said. "So I look around and the first thing I see is a banana and I said, 'This banana is going to be a rally banana.'"

During a long season, personalities like Hernandez's can help boost clubhouse morale, especially as the Dodgers are 3-6 in their past nine games.

"He's a different cat. He's got energy for days. He's a chatterbox," pitcher Brett Anderson said. "You need guys like that to keep it fun and keep it interesting with some different personalities."

The rally catalyst bore fruit not once, but twice during Friday's game against San Diego.

Hernandez said he didn't want to overuse the score-inducing banana, so he put down the fruit until the eighth inning after the Padres had evened the score. Joc Pederson was second to bat in the frame and he deposited an 0-2 pitch into the right-center field bleachers to help the Dodgers snap a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win.

Pederson's clutch shot in 8th

The exact banana from Friday's contest was a little "fluffy," in Hernandez's words, but the 23-year-old said he wouldn't hesitate to bring a different banana back out if the team needs an extra scoring boost.

Whatever the cause, the scuffling Dodgers offense will take the production, as the team had scored just two runs in the past five games entering Friday's contest.

"You can call it coincidence or you could call it a rally banana," Hernandez said.

Steve Bourbon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.