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Yasmani Grandal breaks out in a big way

MILWAUKEE -- Sometimes, all it takes is one swing for a player to snap out of a funk.

That’s especially true for players joining new teams, as has been the case for Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, who joined the team via an offseason trade with the San Diego Padres.

Grandal, a .225 hitter last season with the Padres, had gotten off to a slow start with the Dodgers and was batting just .217 on May 3, when he hit his first home run of the season -- a walk-off shot in the 13th that gave Los Angeles a 1-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Since then, Grandal has been on a bit of a tear. He came into the Dodgers’ game Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers batting .615 in his previous four contests.

He took things to a new level, though, Thursday afternoon, belting a pair of homers and driving in a career-high eight runs in the Dodgers’ 14-4 rout of the Brewers at Miller Park.

“It was a pretty good day for him,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s actually been swinging the bat well for a few days now. It seems like he’s kind of caught fire.

“A couple days before, he had the home run in L.A., and hitting a ball like that is big for guys that come to new clubs. They kind of feel like they’re part of it all of a sudden, part of this group, and he’s stayed on a roll from there. Hopefully he keeps it going.”

Grandal admitted he was pressing a bit during his slow start to the season, but after Mattingly did some shuffling to the lineup, he told Grandal to settle down and not worry as much about the results.

“It’s a new team and I want to do good,” Grandal said. “I understand that last year, RBIs wasn’t a big thing for me. I wanted to get those RBIs so I was pressing a lot. Every time I got a good hit, it was straight at guys. I guess it was a good move to change the lineup a little bit.”

Grandal also added two walks and two singles Thursday, extending his hitting streak to five games. He’s collected an extra-base hit in each of those games and has reached safely in seven straight.

“You’re going to help out at some point and the numbers are going to be there,” Grandal said. “Just relax and play.”

Notable: Grandal is the fifth player in Dodgers history to drive in eight or more runs in a game. The eight RBIs were the most by a Los Angeles player since James Loney drove in nine against the Rockies on Sept. 28, 2006. ... The Dodgers walked a season-high 10 times Thursday, their highest total since drawing 10 free passes on May 12, 2014 at Miami. ... Los Angeles’ 14 runs Thursday were a season high and the most scored in a game by the Dodgers since they scored 14 last Sept. 19 at Chicago (NL).