The offensive spigot opened early for the Dodgers on Saturday night, and once the runs and hits and home runs started flowing, it seemed as if they would never stop.
Five runs in the first inning, four in the second, and after a four-inning break to rest their arms, the Dodgers added a seven-run gusher in the seventh inning and a six-run outburst in the eighth.
By the time they completed their 22-1 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks before a crowd of 44,654 in Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers matched a Los Angeles franchise record for runs in a game and tied a franchise record with eight homers, including two each by AJ Pollock and Albert Pujols.
“It’s hard to score runs in this game, and to put up crooked numbers like we did tonight, this is as good as I’ve ever seen,” manager Dave Roberts said. “That’s a sign of a really good club, that regardless of the score, we keep trying to win pitches and not give at-bats away. When you do that, good things can happen.”
The Dodgers, who lost four of their previous five games, took out a week’s worth of frustration on Arizona starter Caleb Smith, putting up a five-spot in the first and four more in the second.
Max Muncy hit a two-run double to right in the first. Cody Bellinger, who hit .081 (three for 37) in his previous 11 games, hit a towering, two-run homer to right, and Pollock followed with a homer to left for a 5-0 lead.
Justin Turner, who was added to the National League All-Star team earlier Saturday, drove his first career grand slam to left for a 9-0 lead in the second.
Dodgers starter Walker Buehler, who also was added to the NL All-Star team, was well on his way to victory, having blanked the Diamondbacks on three hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking two to improve to 9-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 18 starts. He has completed six innings or more in 17 of those games.
But the Dodgers weren’t done scoring. They loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning, and Mookie Betts lined his fifth career grand slam — and the major league-leading ninth slam this season for the Dodgers — to left field.
Zach McKinstry added a two-run homer to center and Pujols hit a solo shot to left, career homer No. 674 for the slugger.
Pollock added a solo homer in the eighth to spark a six-run rally that included Gavin Lux’s three-run triple and Pujols’ two-run homer — No. 675 — off outfielder-turned-pitcher Josh Reddick.
“Every time he hits a home run, you’re watching history,” Pollock said of Pujols. “Every one of them is special.”
The eight homers tied a franchise record, set against Milwaukee on May 23, 2002 and matched against Arizona on March 28, 2019. The 22 runs were the most the team has scored in Dodger Stadium. Their 21 hits were a season high.
“Yeah, we eked it out,” Buehler said, when asked if he got enough run support. “I appreciate our offense.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.