Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Mookie Betts was out of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup a third consecutive game because of right hip irritation, which had Chris Taylor in the leadoff spot for a second time in as many nights against the San Francisco Giants.
Taylor went 0-for-4 in the series opener, which the Dodgers lost as the Giants pulled away late in the game. However, he and L.A. bounced back in resounding fashion on Tuesday night, with their comeback capped off by Will Smith’s pinch-hit, walk-off home run.
“That was huge for us. Obviously this is a huge series,” Taylor said after the 8-6 win.
“They took that first one from us and jumped out to an early lead in the second one, so for us to kind of stick with it, come back and find a way to win the game, that was probably our biggest win of the year so far.”
Taylor certainly did his part throughout the night, leading off the bottom of the first inning with a double to straightaway center field and later scoring on Max Muncy’s base hit to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Taylor finished the night 3-for-4 with the double, two home runs, one walk and three RBI. It was a third career multi-homer game and second against the Giants.
“My swing was in a good place,” Taylor said.
“I just kind of trusted my eyes. It helped in that first at-bat, staying on that changeup and driving the ball to center field. It’s been a while since I’ve done that, so that felt good and kind of helped me relax the rest of the game. I was just trying to be aggressive.”
Roberts agrees with Taylor
Tuesday’s win prevented the Dodgers from falling three games behind the Giants for first place in the National League West, and also created more separation with respect to a potential Wild Card Game as the San Diego Padres lost.
“It was huge. I’ll echo what C.T. said,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the comeback. “A division rival, team we’re chasing, that flipped the standings as far as two games.
“Obviously staring down a 6-1 deficit at one point, lose a couple players in the middle of the game — Justin, ball off the side of the knee. Max, the shoulder blade/back kind of thing and just couldn’t lift his arm up.
“Both guys wanted to stay in there and I just felt it was best to get them out so there’s no further injury. So to see other guys pick each other up, obviously C.T. had a huge night. The at-bats all the way around, Will coming off the bench just calm and cool.
“He continues to get big hits. I give him a lot of credit for being on board with anything we ask of him. He’s always ready when called upon. The game honored him, and it was good to see.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!