LOS ANGELES -- After they got swept in Cincinnati over the weekend, a couple of Los Angeles Dodgers players said it might have been a good time to hit a little losing streak. Don’t peak too soon. Learn to deal with a spot of trouble. That kind of thing.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn’t bicker with those comments after he read them.
“It humbles you enough to know that you have to be ready to play every day,” Mattingly said Monday.
It didn’t look like humility that earned the Dodgers an 8-1 win over the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night, though. It looked more like confidence and raw strength.
The Dodgers hit six home runs, the most they've had in a game in seven seasons, with Juan Uribe going deep three times -- once more than he did all of last season -- to set the stage for a clinching celebration on their home field. The Dodgers increased their NL West lead to 12 games and reduced their magic number for clinching a postseason berth to eight. They have six games left on this homestand, two against Arizona and four against the San Francisco Giants.
It would have been hard to predict this kind of explosion, particularly since the Dodgers played three of their quietest games in months in Cincinnati.
These weren’t cheapies, either. Andre Ethier and Uribe launched back-to-back home runs leading off the second inning. Adrian Gonzalez sliced a two-run shot to left in the third. Uribe hit his second with two outs in the same inning. In the fifth, Hanley Ramirez hit a low drive that seemed to gain altitude as it flew, slamming into the center-field bleachers. Three batters later, Uribe hit another one.
He had a chance to hit his fourth in the eighth inning but swung at reliever Heath Bell’s first pitch and chopped it to Eric Chavez at third base. This was Uribe’s night, though. He beat the throw for another RBI hit.
Shawn Green, who happened to be at Dodger Stadium for a promotional event and was interviewed on the video board before the game, is the only Dodger to hit four home runs in one game. He accomplished the feat -- done 16 times in MLB history -- on May 23, 2002.
Oh, and by the way, Ricky Nolasco pitched well again. He went 6⅔ innings and allowed just three hits and one unearned run, while striking out six. Nolasco is 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA since he became a Dodger on July 6.