Dom­i­nant Dodgers

Los An­ge­les has 100-win sea­son in its sights

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY BETH HAR­RIS

The cen­tury mark is in sight for the Los An­ge­les Dodgers head­ing into the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

Their 61-29 record leads the ma­jors for the first time since 2009. Their plus-163 run dif­fer­en­tial is the best in Na­tional League his­tory at the break, ac­cord­ing to STATS LLC. They own a 7 1/2-game lead over sec­ond-place Ari­zona in the NL West.

The last time the Dodgers reached 100 wins was in 1974 when they were 102-60 un­der man­ager Wal­ter Al­ston. They lost the World Series to Oak­land.

Rid­ing a six-game win­ning streak, the Dodgers open the sec­ond half tonight with three games at Mi­ami, fol­lowed by an in­ter­league series in Chicago against the White Sox. Bran­don Mc­Carthy (6-3) takes the mound in the opener against the Mar­lins in his sec­ond start since com­ing off the dis­abled list.

Los An­ge­les is a ma­jor leaguebest 26-4 since June 7.

“How long is it a hot streak or this is just us?” ace Clay­ton Ker­shaw said. “I guess we’ll find out.”

After go­ing a ma­jor leaguebest 39-11 at home – win­ning 18 of their last 19 – in the first half, the Dodgers play 40 of their re­main­ing 71 games on the road. They’ll face the next-to-last Padres and last-place Gi­ants a com­bined 18 times.

“We are just re­ally good at be­ing in the mo­ment right now. We’re not wor­ry­ing about what hap­pened yes­ter­day or wor­ry­ing about what’s in front of us,” said third base­man Justin Turner, one of the team’s six all-stars.

A fifth con­sec­u­tive di­vi­sion ti­tle seems within reach, bar­ring a slew of in­juries.

The Dodgers al­ready have over­come the losses of in­jured vet­er­ans Adrian Gon­za­lez and An­dre Ethier, along with An­drew Toles, thanks to the of­fen­sive prow­ess of Turner and NL rookie-of-the-year can­di­date Cody Bellinger.

Turner is hit­ting a teambest .377 with 40 runs, 10 homers and 37 RBI to go with a .473 on-base per­cent­age in 65 games.

Bellinger ended the first half hit­ting .261 de­spite a re­cent slump.

The first base­man made the all-star team and the home run derby de­spite spend­ing the first three weeks of the sea­son in the mi­nors.

The team’s 53 homers in June set a club record for a month.

Even mer­cu­rial Yasiel Puig has found his touch around the plate, hit­ting .251 with 43 RBI and 16 home runs.

“This team has shown a lot of re­siliency,” Turner said.

Ker­shaw has been his usual stel­lar self, go­ing 14-2 with a 2.18 ERA.

The left-han­der has made 13 straight starts with­out a loss, go­ing 10-0 with a 1.98 ERA while hold­ing bat­ters to a .187 av­er­age.

He’ll re­turn well-rested next week after tak­ing off the series at Mi­ami.

“We’re win­ning a lot of games, it’s fun and we’ve got a re­ally good team,” Ker­shaw said.

Fel­low lefty Alex Wood also is 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA.

“The pitch­ing has been very con­sis­tent, the de­fence has been very con­sis­tent, and the at-bats over the last month have re­ally picked up,” said sec­ond-year man­ager Dave Roberts, whose up­beat style has en­er­gized the club­house.

“We have very good play­ers who are play­ing a very good brand of base­ball.”

The Dodgers are rarely out of games, ei­ther.

They have six walk-off vic­to­ries so far and are 5-2 in ex­tra in­nings.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.