SAN DIEGO -- Cody Bellinger moved into truly rarified air on Saturday, tying Mike Piazza for the Dodgers' rookie home run record with his 35th big fly in a 6-5 loss to the Padres in the first game of a doubleheader at Petco Park.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't in the back of my mind," Bellinger said about Piazza's rookie record. "Obviously, he was a great player who had a great career, so to be in the same sentence with him is pretty cool."
Bellinger homered off left-hander Clayton Richard, Bellinger's 10th against a left-hander and the first homer Richard has allowed to a left-handed batter since 2013. Bellinger also moved into 8th on the all-time rookie home run list, breaking a tie with Ryan Braun ('07) and Walt Dropo (1950). He's now tied with Piazza, Ron Kittle (1983), Hal Trotsky (1934) and Rudy York (1937).
Bellinger and Yankees slugger Aaron Judge are the only pair of rookies to have at least 35 home runs in the same season.
"Didn't know that," Bellinger said, when told of the stat.
Piazza's record was set in 1993, when he went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Bellinger is likely to repeat that win despite a stint on the 10-day disabled list for a sprained right ankle and opening the season in the Minor Leagues.
Bellinger's 35th homer led off the fourth inning, and it gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The towering shot was estimated by Statcast™ at 409 feet with a launch angle of 35 degrees.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.