Dodgers clinch series win over Yankees behind Teoscar Hernández's two home runs

This is what the baseball world was desperate to see.

Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge trading big hits early. Two talent-rich lineups keeping opposing pitchers under constant stress. And the sport’s two most star-studded squads turning a routine June weekend into a gripping midseason spectacle.

A day after neither team scored a run until the 11th inning, the Dodgers and New York Yankees traded early jabs in a back-and-forth game Saturday night, before the Dodgers ultimately pulled away late for an 11-3, series-clinching win.

Teoscar Hernández had the biggest night, collecting six RBIs and two home runs, including an eighth-inning grand slam that served as the knockout blow.

The result, however, was just as memorable as the scene that surrounded it.

For a sport that struggles to draw national attention and doesn’t lend itself to many show-stopping series over an annual 162-game grind, this weekend’s matchup provided a much-needed “shot in the arm,” as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts put it Friday.

And if the series opener was a tense, tactical extra-innings marathon, Saturday offered more of the power-packed prize fight everyone around Major League Baseball was hoping to see this weekend.

“This is a little bit different,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said in an on-field interview with Fox moments before first pitch, having to lean in to hear reporter Ken Rosenthal’s question over the buzz of the crowd in the Bronx.

“It’s exciting,” Freeman added. “This is what we play for.”

For the first seven innings, the two teams traded body blows to keep the score tight.

Hernández followed up his winning double Friday night with a second-inning solo blast into the Dodgers bullpen to open the scoring.

The Yankees (45-21) quickly countered, knotting the score on two singles and a run-scoring grounder in the bottom of the inning.

In the third, Ohtani lined an RBI single the other way, putting the Dodgers ahead 2-1. Minutes later, Judge came to the plate and smacked a center-cut sinker just over the left-field wall, leveling the score again.

The Dodgers (41-25), however, eventually pulled away.

They regained the lead on Kiké Hernández’s solo home run in the fifth. They tacked on another run in the sixth, when Freeman hit a leadoff double to left that ex-Dodger Alex Verdugo badly misplayed.

Then, in perhaps the biggest sequence of the night with the Dodgers leading only 4-2, left-handed reliever Alex Vesia escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, before returning to the mound in the seventh and retiring Verdugo, Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in order — including a strikeout of Judge on three whiffed fastballs.

Teoscar Hernández launched his grand slam in the next inning, setting off a raucous celebration in the bullpen (where his home run ball again landed), dugout (where Vesia jumped up from his seat and held an index finger to the sky) and stands (where waves of blue-clad Dodgers fans erupted as many Yankees faithful quietly filed out).

This series hasn’t been everything baseball fans hoped for, not with Yankees star Juan Soto out of the lineup again Saturday, and unlikely to play in Sunday night’s finale, because of a forearm injury.

It will still count as only three games in the standings, as well — relatively low stakes for a first-place team such as the Dodgers enjoying a healthy eight-game lead in the National League West.

Just don’t tell that to the thousands of fans who packed the ballpark, or a lagging baseball industry at large looking for an early June spark.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top