A-Gone goes yard twice, Turner hits 22nd HR to lead the offense
By Evan Webeck
PHILADELPHIA -- The guys who were hitting kept hitting. The guys who weren't made adjustments. Now, the Dodgers have an eight-man murderers' row.
Right in the middle is Adrian Gonzalez, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a pair of homers in Wednesday night's 7-2 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. He belted a three-run shot in the fourth and a two-run shot in the seventh. Gonzalez became the second Dodgers hitter in as many nights to go yard twice, joining Chase Utley, who homered twice on Tuesday in his return to Philadelphia.
There had been some worries about Gonzalez's absent power stroke. But those have been quashed.
Gonzalez received an epidural in May and has spent the time since getting back into a comfortable stance and swing, finally able to generate power with his lower half again. Over his hit streak, Gonzalez is batting .450 and has scored 12 runs while driving in 11, including five in Wednesday's win.
"I was able to get back in my legs," Gonzalez said. "It took me about a month to feel fully healthy and strong again. … If you can't use your backside, you're hitting off your front leg the whole time and you can't create power."
Ahead of Gonzalez, there's Corey Seager in the two-hole, who reached base three times on Wednesday, including a single and double to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He's batting .417 over the stretch with five extra-base hits. Justin Turner follows. He drove Seager home after a fifth-inning single with a moonshot that just barely cleared the left-field wall. It was Turner's 22nd of the season and 18th since June 10 -- the most in the Majors in that time frame.
Joc Pederson and Howie Kendrick round out the hot-hitting starting nine. Pederson had homered in two straight games before being kept in the yard in Tuesday's series opener. He reached base four times on Wednesday, raising his average to .481 over his last eight contests. For once, it was singles, too. Pederson's three singles on Wednesday gave him 13 hits over that span; eight have gone for extra bases.
"The length of the lineup is impressive right now," Turner said. "We're a tough lineup to pitch to one through eight. Anyone can hit a ball over the fence and do some damage. It's fun going up there knowing you can hang a crooked number every inning."
Los Angeles has scored 22 runs and mashed seven home runs in the first two games of this series. Stretch it back nine days, and the Dodgers have more games of at least eight runs than they do with fewer. They have more games of three-plus homers than they don't.
It's no coincidence that over the same stretch, the Dodgers have erased a two-game deficit in the National League West to take a 1 1/2-game lead over the Giants.
"This clip that we're on," manager Dave Roberts said, "it's really a byproduct of having good at-bats."
And that charge is led by Gonzalez, who even with the lack of power early in the season, remained an integral part of the offense because of the quality of his ABs. Now in first place, nothing changes for Gonzalez.
"We don't settle just because we woke up in first place," he said. "It feels good to be in first place, it feels great. But the season didn't end last night. We've still got plenty of games, nine games with the Giants. We've still got a lot of games we have to win."
Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.