Major League Baseball

Dodgers look to keep momentum going vs. Phillies

dodgers-cody-bellinger-home-run-record-gary-sanchezDODGERS (63-33) AT PHILLIES (48-46)

The Los Angeles Dodgers will be looking for their fourth consecutive victory when they visit the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.

The Dodgers opened a four-game series on the road with a resounding 16-2 victory on Monday. Cody Bellinger started 0 for 2 and finished with four hits, including two home runs. Bellinger passed Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich for the major league lead with 33 homers. Bellinger now has 75 RBIs this season.

Max Muncy and Alex Verdugo each homered as well for the Dodgers, who tied their season high with 19 hits.

The Dodgers will attempt to clinch this series win when they hand the ball to All-Star Walker Buehler. It will be Buehler’s first start since July 3, though he appeared in the All-Star game.

Buehler is 8-1 with a 3.46 ERA. In Buehler’s last start, he gave up three runs in seven innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Buehler has said that altering his game day routine by meeting closely with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt has led to a successful season.

“Obviously, doing your own stuff and knowing it in your head gets you a little bit more convicted,” Buehler told reporters. “And it’s never a bad thing.”

Buehler is 1-1 with a 7.94 ERA at Citizens Bank Park.

But the Dodgers will enter this game with plenty of confidence and a 4-0 record against the Phillies. In Monday’s win, all eight position players had at least one hit.

“In this game, you got to evolve,” Buehler told reporters. “I think where the next step for me is taking more ownership of what I do out there.”

The Phillies won Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals when Maikel Franco hit a walk-off home run.

But the momentum clearly didn’t carry over as the Phillies allowed at least 12 runs in a game for the fifth time this season.

When asked after the game if the loss was embarrassing, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler responded tersely, “It’s certainly not encouraging.”

The Phillies were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and were forced to use outfielder Roman Quinn to pitch 1 1/3 innings to finish the game.

If the Phillies hope to bounce back, it will be up to Vince Velasquez to pitch deep into Tuesday’s game. Velasquez is 2-5 with a 4.63 ERA, and his outings have been inconsistent all season.

Velasquez is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA in his last four starts, a total of 16 2/3 innings. He is 1-3 in seven games (three starts) against the Dodgers with a 7.91 ERA.

On July 5, Velasquez gave up six hits and two runs in five innings on the road against the New York Mets.

“It just comes down to execution,” Velasquez told reporters. “If you execute a solid pitch, chances are guys are going to pop up, swing and miss or foul it off. That’s what you want. It doesn’t need to be a 97-mile-per-hour fastball. That’s a bonus.”

Kapler did seem encouraged after Velasquez’s last start.

“Overall, I felt he executed the game plan well and he gave us a chance to win the game,” Kapler said.

–Field Level Media

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