After squandering early leads in each of their first three contests against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked for redemption heading into Sunday’s series finale at Chase Field.
The club saw a similar scenario play out over the early portion of the game. L.A. jumped out to a 2-0 advantage by the third inning behind solo home runs by David Freese and Russell Martin.
The Dodgers’ initial success was short-lived, however, as Arizona would put three runs on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Making matters worse was the fashion in how it was done, as Jake Lamb lined a ball off Dustin May’s head that pushed a pair of runs across the plate.
A scary situation was ultimately averted, as May passed a concussion test and came out of the mess with only a head contusion. He was more upset that he didn’t catch Lamb’s line drive, as the ball grazed the top of his glove before striking his head.
The Diamondbacks carried their 3-2 lead into the ninth inning — a mere three outs away from completing a four-game sweep of the Dodgers. That was when Cody Bellinger evened the score with his Major League-tying 43rd home run of the season, giving the Dodgers newfound momentum.
Two innings later, Joc Pederson gave them a lead with a clutch, pinch-hit home run. L.A. would hang on and defeat Arizona, 4-3, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process.
Afterward, Pederson revealed that he used one of Andre Ethier’s bats to hit his game-winning home run against the Diamondbacks, via Jake Rill of MLB.com:
“He says it had a lot of hits in it,” Pederson said. “I think they’re just left over. But he says that his bats are way harder than everyone else’s, so they’re still hard.”
Ethier, who spent the entirety of his 12-year career with the Dodgers, visited his former teammates prior to Saturday’s matchup. The Phoenix, Ariz., native has done so occasionally since retiring at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Ethier and Pederson formed a strong friendship during their time as teammates. Upon returning to Dodger Stadium for his retirement ceremony, Ethier joked if Pederson was capable of succeeding, he still could as well.
While Pederson borrowed one of Ethier’s bats, he returned the favor by loaning Cody Bellinger a pair of his own his cleats. The NL MVP frontrunner prefers to wear Pederson’s low-top cleats with high socks, and sporadically did so throughout the month of August.