A solo home run from Will Smith was all the Los Angeles Dodgers could muster through eight innings on Wednesday night. They nonetheless were two outs from a second consecutive win against the Toronto Blue Jays, only for Kenley Jansen to allow a game-tying home run.
While Jansen’s sixth blown save of the season has added to reason for concern, the Dodgers came away with a walk-off win thanks to Max Muncy’s home run in the 10th inning. The walk-off victory was their 11th this season; Smith and Muncy have delivered two apiece.
Although his latest wasn’t a game-winner, Smith now has 12 home runs through his first 28 career games, which ties the MLB record that the Philadelphia Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins set in 2017.
Hoskins reached the benchmark by 100 plate appearances and in his 24th game, then didn’t have a homer in his next four contests. He went on to finish with 18 home runs in his rookie season.
Smith accomplished the feat in 102 plate appearances through his 28 games. His home run against the Blue Jays was a second in as many games and it extended a career-best hitting streak to nine games.
The rookie catcher has been nothing short of impressive since making his MLB debut, but particularly so since he was recalled on July 26. In 19 games (17 starts) during that span, he’s batting .339/.411/.887 with seven doubles, nine home runs and 25 RBI.
Smith recently became the first player in Dodgers franchise history to hit 10 home runs through 25 career games. He additionally was just the second catcher in the MLB live-ball era to reach the threshold, joining New York Yankees All-Star Gary Sanchez, who accomplished the feat in 2016.
In June, Smith helped the Dodgers set an MLB record for the most walk-off home runs hit by rookies in a single season.
Then earlier this month, Smith broke Bellinger’s franchise record for most RBI through 14 career games (19). His .884 slugging percentage was additionally the highest for a National League player at the time since the San Francisco Giants’ Willie McCovey in 1959 (minimum 45 plate appearances).
Not long after, Smith surpassed Bellinger yet again to set a Dodgers franchise record for most home runs (nine) and RBI (24) through a player’s first 23 games.