Dodgers’ bats boom again with homers from Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Max Muncy

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he is picked off third base to end the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he is picked off third base to end the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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  • Los Angeles starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson throws to a Texas Rangers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson throws to a Texas Rangers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig swings for an RBI double during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig swings for an RBI double during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Fans watch as Texas Rangers’ Delino DeShields misses an RBI double hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig during the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Fans watch as Texas Rangers’ Delino DeShields misses an RBI double hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig during the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Texas Rangers’ Delino DeShields can’t catch a double hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Texas Rangers’ Delino DeShields can’t catch a double hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo, right, chases a double hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig as Delino DeShields tumbles after missing the ball during the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo, right, chases a double hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig as Delino DeShields tumbles after missing the ball during the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his RBI double to take a 1-0 lead over the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his RBI double to take a 1-0 lead over the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches his two run homerun to take a 3-0 lead over the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches his two run homerun to take a 3-0 lead over the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson hits a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson hits a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson watches his two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson watches his two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his two run homerun to take a 3-0 lead over the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his two run homerun to take a 3-0 lead over the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson celebrates his two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson celebrates his two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his two run homerun with Yasiel Puig #66 to take a 3-0 lead over the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his two run homerun with Yasiel Puig #66 to take a 3-0 lead over the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon walks through the dugout before the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon walks through the dugout before the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Texas Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo, of South Korea, is greeted by teammates after he scored on a single by Adrian Beltre against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Texas Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo, of South Korea, is greeted by teammates after he scored on a single by Adrian Beltre against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson wipes his face after walking Texas Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson wipes his face after walking Texas Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Caleb Ferguson #64 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after allowing his second walk of the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Caleb Ferguson #64 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after allowing his second walk of the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his strikeout during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his strikeout during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon tosses the new ball after giving up a home run to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, background right, during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon tosses the new ball after giving up a home run to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, background right, during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon tosses the ball after giving up an RBI single to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon tosses the ball after giving up an RBI single to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, left, celebrates his home run with Matt Kemp during the third inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, left, celebrates his home run with Matt Kemp during the third inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Flanked by Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos, second from left, and Ronald Guzman, starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, center, hands the ball to manager Jeff Banister during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Flanked by Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos, second from left, and Ronald Guzman, starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, center, hands the ball to manager Jeff Banister during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his two run homerun to take a 6-2 lead over the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his two run homerun to take a 6-2 lead over the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates his two-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates his two-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, left, and Cody Bellinger shake hands after they scored on a single by Yasmani Grandal during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, left, and Cody Bellinger shake hands after they scored on a single by Yasmani Grandal during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Cody Bellinger #35 and Matt Kemp #27 celebrate their runs from a Yasmani Grandal #9 single, in front of Robinson Chirinos #61 of the Texas Rangers, to take a 11-2 lead over the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Cody Bellinger #35 and Matt Kemp #27 celebrate their runs from a Yasmani Grandal #9 single, in front of Robinson Chirinos #61 of the Texas Rangers, to take a 11-2 lead over the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Cody Bellinger #35 and Matt Kemp #27 celebrate their runs from a Yasmani Grandal #9 single to take a 11-2 lead over the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Cody Bellinger #35 and Matt Kemp #27 celebrate their runs from a Yasmani Grandal #9 single to take a 11-2 lead over the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Yimi Garcia #63 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in relief during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Yimi Garcia #63 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in relief during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Yimi Garcia #63 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after allowing a solo homerun to Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Yimi Garcia #63 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after allowing a solo homerun to Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Daniel Corcino #56 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his pitch during a 12-5 win over the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Daniel Corcino #56 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his pitch during a 12-5 win over the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12:  Daniel Corcino #56 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates a 12-5 win over the Texas Rangers with Yasmani Grandal #9 at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 12: Daniel Corcino #56 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates a 12-5 win over the Texas Rangers with Yasmani Grandal #9 at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, left, and Joc Pederson celebrate their team’s 12-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, left, and Joc Pederson celebrate their team’s 12-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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LOS ANGELES — Respect your elders. But hammer his fastball.

The Dodgers found the senior slinging of 45-year-old Bartolo Colon to their liking, pounding him for eight runs on nine hits, including three more home runs, in the first four innings of a 12-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

The win was the Dodgers’ eighth in their last 10 games – a stretch during which they have identified their starting pitcher each day like game shows call contestants out of the audience – and 18 of their past 24.

“That ‘hitting-is-contagious’ thing is real,” said Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, who was on base four times including an RBI double in a seven-run fourth inning. “We have a really deep lineup. I wouldn’t want to face us.

“I think winning is contagious too. We finally got that monkey off our back.”

That monkey was sitting comfortably when the Dodgers bottomed out 10 games under .500 (16-26) in mid-May. Since then, they have outhomered their opponents 46-19 and experienced a real June boom. The Dodgers lead all of MLB this month in nearly every offensive category, including runs scored (84 in 10 games) and home runs (29).

Joc Pederson, Max Muncy and Yasiel Puig each homered in Tuesday’s win. Pederson (7) and Muncy (6) lead MLB in home runs this month.

“It’s hard to explain homers. But, gosh, you see what Joc’s done this month, Max has done essentially all year,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think obviously they’re elevating the baseball, squaring it up, taking good swings, having good at-bats. I think across the board. Even the ability to use the opposite-field gap, take a walk, hit a line drive – I just think we’re taking a lot of good swings, grinding at-bats.

“We’re built sort of on slugging, guys who can take the walk, identify strike from ball and it’s kind of playing out that way right now.”

It is. But no one expected it to play out with Muncy leading the team in home runs. But his second-inning solo launch off Colon was his team-high 13th – despite not joining the major-league club until mid-April and bringing with him a major-league resume’ that included all of five home runs in 215 previous big-league at-bats.

“A grinder, a guy who is all in and will do whatever it takes for us to win,” Roberts said of his expectations when Muncy arrived from Triple-A on April 17. “I didn’t expect to see the consistent slug and the ability to barrel baseballs. This guy, he knows where the barrel’s at.

“I just didn’t appreciate it. I didn’t know the player. In spring training, obviously it was a small sample. But the more you see him … there’s a lot to like.”

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There’s a lot to see of Colon, too and he has become the Don Quixote, assaulting the windmills of age – and fitness – in the image of a beer-guzzling fan who somehow found his way onto the field. Tuesday, he was matched against an opposing starting pitcher who was nine months old when Colon made his major-league debut. In the home dugout, the manger was a teammate from another century.

Colon has remarkably held back the hands of time, throwing his fastball 80 percent of the time even though it has lost 5 mph since he and Roberts were Cleveland Indians together. But these Dodgers feast on fastballs the way Colon … well, appears to have feasted on a lot of things over the years.

They put up three runs in the second inning on a walk to Bellinger, a two-out double just short of clearing the fence by Puig and a two-run home run by Pederson.

For Pederson, it was one of seven home runs in his last 26 plate appearances after he hit just one home run in his first 151 trips to the plate this season.

The Dodgers put the game away with a seven-run fourth inning that included a two-run home run by Puig – who had no home runs in his first 100 at-bats this season but now has eight in his last 77 at-bats. Yasmani Grandal drove in two runs with a single, Bellinger one with his double.

The smoke billowing from the Rangers’ team ERA provided cover for Ferguson, who looked at least somewhat more at ease in his second big-league start. Ferguson lasted only 1-2/3 innings in his debut last week. This time, he was only asked to go four and did that ably enough before Roberts let the bullpen coast to the finish.

“Caleb was better today,” Roberts said, non-committal when asked if Ferguson will remain in the Dodgers’ needy rotation. “I think with Caleb – he’s still green. He’s still learning the league and learning himself.

“It’s in there. Caleb can pitch. He competes really well.”

.@yungjoc650 has been locked in! He spoke with @alannarizzo after his 3-hit night against the Rangers. pic.twitter.com/m81yhzOSrD

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 13, 2018

Barely made it but it counts just the same 🤷‍♂️ #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/1FOjytokWg

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 13, 2018

Mad Max got all of it. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/2ZSQ5Whay3

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 13, 2018

421 feet LAUNCHED! #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/CHKWRGLWup

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 13, 2018

“The player that’s grown the most, in my opinion, is Joc.”
Dave Roberts talks about the recent offensive surge following a 12-5 #Dodgers win over Texas. pic.twitter.com/72rHClFUta

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 13, 2018

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Dodgers reach deep into their bag of tricks to beat Diamondbacks

  • Dodger starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodger starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, left, runs to first on an inside-the-park home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood, front, during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, left, runs to first on an inside-the-park home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood, front, during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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  • Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez #14 hits the wall going after a Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 fly ball during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.   Ahmed  scored on the play for an inside the park home un in the first inning. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez #14 hits the wall going after a Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 fly ball during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. Ahmed scored on the play for an inside the park home un in the first inning. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte #4 catches the ball and makes the tag for the out as the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 attempts to steal second base during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte #4 catches the ball and makes the tag for the out as the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 attempts to steal second base during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte #4 catches the ball and makes the tag for the out as the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 attempts to steal second base during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte #4 catches the ball and makes the tag for the out as the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 attempts to steal second base during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin #46 during their game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin #46 during their game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger #35 reacts during an at bat during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger #35 reacts during an at bat during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr. #28 slides in to second base as Dodgers second baseman Austin Barnes #15 throws to first for a double play to end the third inning during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr. #28 slides in to second base as Dodgers second baseman Austin Barnes #15 throws to first for a double play to end the third inning during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodger starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodger starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 dives for home plate as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 waits for the throw during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  Ahmed was safe on the play for an inside the park home run in the first inning.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 dives for home plate as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 waits for the throw during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. Ahmed was safe on the play for an inside the park home run in the first inning. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 dives for home plate as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 waits for the throw during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  Ahmed was safe on the play for an inside the park home run in the first inning.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 dives for home plate as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 waits for the throw during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. Ahmed was safe on the play for an inside the park home run in the first inning. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, center, looks up for the call from umpire David Rackley after diving past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal on an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, center, looks up for the call from umpire David Rackley after diving past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal on an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed waits for the call after diving in ahead of the tag for an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed waits for the call after diving in ahead of the tag for an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 is congratulated in the dugout after hitting an inside the park home run against the Dodgers during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 is congratulated in the dugout after hitting an inside the park home run against the Dodgers during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor scores on a wild pitch as Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin moves in to cover a possible play at the plate during the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor scores on a wild pitch as Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin moves in to cover a possible play at the plate during the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, right, is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila watches during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, right, is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila watches during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 is hit by a pitch during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 is hit by a pitch during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin wipes his face after the end of the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin wipes his face after the end of the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor watches his single as Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin ducks out of the way during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor watches his single as Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin ducks out of the way during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Dodgers Enrique Hernandez #14 and Yasiel Puig #66 collide as Puig throws to second base on a Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt #44 in the seventh inning during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers Enrique Hernandez #14 and Yasiel Puig #66 collide as Puig throws to second base on a Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt #44 in the seventh inning during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte #4 attempts to catch a Dodgers’ Austin Barnes #15 foul ball during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte #4 attempts to catch a Dodgers’ Austin Barnes #15 foul ball during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal #9 slides in to home to score in the sixth inning during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal #9 slides in to home to score in the sixth inning during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Chase Utley #26 beats the throw to Diamondbacks third baseman Deven Marrero #10 during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Chase Utley #26 beats the throw to Diamondbacks third baseman Deven Marrero #10 during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen #74 points to the sky after the final out during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen #74 points to the sky after the final out during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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LOS ANGELES — Seven men batted with the bases loaded for the Dodgers on Wednesday. None of them got a hit. Their outfielders committed two errors, their pitchers issued five walks, and their center fielder misplayed a fly ball into an inside-the-park home run two batters into the game.

The Dodgers won anyway.

Two wild pitches, a hit batter, and a sacrifice fly led to four runs before Chase Utley’s two-run double put the finishing touch on the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The division rivals will not play each other again until August – an act of scheduling mercy for the Dodgers. Arizona (24-12) is 8-4 in head-to-head games and still enjoys an eight-game cushion over the fourth-place Dodgers (16-20) in the National League West.

The Dodgers needed their full bag of tricks before an announced crowd of 45,600 at Dodger Stadium.

Chris Taylor reached base four times, using two walks, a single and a hit by pitch. Yasiel Puig went 3 for 4 in his return from the disabled list. Dodgers starter Alex Wood eluded trouble for five innings, allowing only one run before the bullpen navigated a reckless game to safety.

The Dodgers’ unconventional three-run rally in the sixth inning broke open a 1-1 game.

Yasmani Grandal led off with a single against Fernando Salas (3-3). Austin Barnes singled with one out and Puig followed with another single to load the bases. Left-hander Andrew Chafin replaced the right-handed Salas, and he walked pinch-hitter Max Muncy to force in the go-ahead run.

Silvino Bracho was the next man out of the Arizona bullpen. He promptly plunked Taylor to force in the Dodgers’ third run. Bracho then tossed a wild pitch to force in Puig with the fourth run – all the insurance the Dodgers would need.

The win ended the Dodgers’ three-game losing streak. They will welcome the Cincinnati Reds for a four-game series starting Thursday.

Wood has been sneaky consistent in his fourth full season as a Dodger. The left-hander has not dominated as he did in 2017, when he went 16-3 with a 2.72 earned-run average and made the All-Star roster. But of his eight starts, six have seen Wood face 20 to 25 batters over five to six innings. What he’s lacked in efficiency, Wood has atoned for with consistency.

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If a series of clean, crisp innings were Wood’s goal Wednesday, his defense did not help.

In the first inning, Nick Ahmed hit fly a ball to the top of the center-field wall 398 feet from home plate. Kiké Hernandez, getting his second start of the season in center, faced a tough task trying to catch the ball. He timed his jump correctly but his glove flopped clumsily against the blue padding and came up empty. The ball caromed back toward the infield. Puig, the Dodgers’ right fielder, gamely fired a fastball to home plate, but it was too late. Ahmed was credited with an inside-the-park home run and the Dodgers trailed 1-0.

In the second inning, a bouncing base hit to left field skipped out of Matt Kemp’s glove, sending a runner to third base with nobody out. It was the first error by Kemp and only the second by a Dodgers outfielder this season. But Wood came back to strike out Alex Avila and Patrick Corbin before Chris Owings lined out to end the inning.

Wood got out of a third-inning jam by getting Ketel Marte to ground into a double play. The left-hander didn’t retire the side in order until the fifth. By then he was up to 94 pitches.

Wood’s fastball command betrayed him enough to induce three walks. It wasn’t his best start, but he handed the game to the bullpen having allowed just one run for the second time in as many starts.

Corbin could say the same; he and Wood faced off in Arizona six days earlier and each left with a no-decision in the Dodgers’ 5-2 win. This time Corbin allowed three hits and walked four batters, a season-high, and struck out seven.

The only run he allowed came in the fourth inning. Taylor led off with a single and stole second base. With one out, Kemp and Grandal drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases for Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger worked the count full, only to swing and miss at an 89-mph fastball down the middle of the plate. Corbin also struck out the next batter, Austin Barnes, but not before a wild pitch allowed Taylor to trot home from third.

More to come on this story.

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Kike’ Hernandez drives in five as Dodgers pound Rockies, 11-6

THE GAME: Kike’ Hernandez drove in five runs and the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 11-6 on Wednesday night at Camelback Ranch.

PITCHING REPORT: RHP Ross Stripling made what is likely to be his last start of the spring (he will roll back into more of a reliever’s schedule). He gave up back-to-back doubles to Raimel Tapia and Gerardo Parra to start the game then allowed just two more hits and struck out four in his three innings. … LHP Scott Alexander struggled through a one-run inning that included two singles, two walks and two wild pitches. … RHP Pedro Baez also had a rough inning, allowing a run on three hits.

HITTING REPORT: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called Hernandez “a lefty killer” earlier this week (the stats back him up) but said he thinks Hernandez has made changes in his swing and approach that will lead to more success (and playing time) against right-handed pitchers this season. Hernandez backed him up by hitting a three-run home run and a two-run double, both off Rockies right-hander Jon Gray. … Yasiel Puig had an RBI double and Jake Peter a two-run single during the Dodgers’ four-run seventh inning that broke a 5-5 tie. … Kyle Farmer hit a two-run home run. He is 10 for 20 this spring with six extra-base hits (three doubles, three home runs)

DEFENSE REPORT: Austin Barnes started at catcher and was charged with two errors on wild throws to second base on steal attempts. … Third baseman Justin Turner was also charged with his first error of the spring.

UP NEXT: LHP Rich Hill is scheduled to start against the Kansas City Royals (Jason Hammel) on Thursday at Camelback Ranch, 1 p.m. (SportsNet LA and 570 AM). RHP Kenta Maeda is scheduled to pitch in a minor-league game as well.

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Whicker: Astros leave Dodgers offense stranded in space

LOS ANGELES — You can send a good-riddance bouquet to Yu Darvish if you wish.

You can build the weirdest Erector set of reasons why Dave Roberts bollixed up the pitching.

In lieu of recognizing that the Dodgers lost the World Series to a better team.

You can wonder all winter why manifest destiny died in the glove of Yuli Gurriel, who took the final throw from Jose Altuve and disbelievingly put his hands on his head as the Houston Astros, who first were named the Colt .45s and played on a snake-infested field with mosquitos the size of backpacks, won the first World Series in their history.

But in the end you have to go back to Dodger trademarks that lost their adhesiveness and fell off, and Dodger habits that they somehow unlearned.

In the tough moments, the big blue offensive machine was taken apart by Houston pitching and never reassembled. With all those pieces on the ground, nothing else mattered.

Game 7 was the most cut-and-dried game of the series. There were no lead changes, no course corrections after Series MVP George Springer creamed a two-run home run off Darvish in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.

Yet Lance McCullers Jr. hit almost as many Dodgers as he did the targets from catcher Brian McCann, and he was gone in the third inning, with plenty of chances for the Dodgers to recover. They didn’t, and their clubhouse reeked of disbelief.

“I thought all day we were going to come in here to win,” catcher Austin Barnes said.

“We left everything we had on that field,” center fielder Chris Taylor said. “I think everyone in here is physically and mentally exhausted. Throughout the playoffs, there was no letup. We’re pretty spent right now. It’s a good time to get away from baseball for a while.”

Their season ended on the first day of November, less than three and a half months from when another one will begin. In boxing they say there is always a style waiting for you, a method to neutralize whatever you do. That seemed impossible after 104 regular-season wins, but the Astros had that secret sauce. It came from pitchers most Dodgers fans couldn’t have picked out of a Starbucks line.

Charlie Morton pitched the final four innings of Game 7 with 99 mph fastballs and great variety and precision. He held the Dodgers to five hits in 10⅓ innings overall, with 11 strikeouts.

Brad Peacock pitched 7⅓ innings against L.A. and gave up four hits.

The Dodgers managed to avoid losing to Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel. But Peacock finished them off in Game 3 and Morton in Game 7.

“Morton had that bowling-ball sinker,” Barnes said. “But when they got the five-run lead, sure, they were going to come right at us.”

“He threw me a lot of changeups,” Taylor said of Morton. “Curves and changeups and that heavy sinker, really tough at-bats.”

‘“I think they put the ball in the spots they wanted,” first baseman Cody Bellinger said. “They were aggressive and got ahead of us. We had guys on base, chances to do something, and couldn’t get the hit we needed.”

All season the Dodgers were finicky eaters at the plate. They stayed within the confines of their personal strike zones. They became annoying fouling machines in two-strike situations, and then teed off when pitchers gave in.

The Astros took the game back to where it lives, where pitchers put the burden on hitters. The Dodgers drew three walks per game and saw more pitches than Houston did. But Morton needed only 128 pitches to get his 31 outs in the Series.

“What I learned is that it’s not the regular season, and you have to make adjustments in-game if necessary,” Bellinger said. “And sometimes, different kinds of adjustments.”

Bellinger, who as usual faced more of the media music than any other Dodger, had a strange Series. He wound up striking out 17 times, which is a Series record, and 29 times for the postseason, which is also a record. He started the Series 0 for 13. But then he won Game 4 and did all he could to win Game 5, with a homer and a triple.

Seven games were long enough for Bellinger, as good a defender as either side had, to throw behind Darvish on Alex Bregman’s grounder, giving Houston a 1-0 lead in about three minutes. Bellinger wound up 4 for 28 for the Series and had plenty of company in misery.

Justin Turner, who was far from 100 percent physically, went 4 for 25 with 2 RBIs. Yasiel Puig was 4 for 27. Chris Taylor and Corey Seager were both 6 for 27.

Add it up and the Dodgers hit .205 for the Series and .200 with men in scoring position. More important, their on-base percentage was only .290.

And yet they will have trouble letting go of the very legitimate notion that they should have won the Series in five games.

They had a two-run lead in Game 2 going into the eighth inning before Houston laid waste to the bullpen, and they had three leads in that Mad Max of a Game 5 in Houston before Dave Roberts was reduced to using relievers who should have spent the night in the hammock.

“That’s probably what I’ll look back on, the two games we had a chance to win and didn’t,” Taylor said. “But I’m sure we won a couple of games you could say the same thing about.”

A few Dodgers were giving the “we had a great season” speech without convincing anyone, including themselves. The verge of victory is a more painful resting place than the periphery. Especially when you forget how you got there.

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Whicker: Yasiel Puig goes from outcast to centerpiece in Dodgers’ room

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig watches his solo home run in the sixth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig watches his solo home run in the sixth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, right, watches his home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, right, watches his home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 heads for first base and his fall heads out of the park for a homer in the 7th inning. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 heads for first base and his fall heads out of the park for a homer in the 7th inning. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 rounds first after his 7th ining homer. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 rounds first after his 7th ining homer. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates his home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates his home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig rounds third base after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig rounds third base after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig rounds third base after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig rounds third base after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates his home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates his home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig looks to the sky as he trots toward home plate after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. Puig also had an RBI double in a 5-2 victory. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig looks to the sky as he trots toward home plate after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning of Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. Puig also had an RBI double in a 5-2 victory. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 is congratulated by Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 after his 7th inning homer. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 is congratulated by Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 after his 7th inning homer. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig sticks out his tongue after hitting a home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig sticks out his tongue after hitting a home run against the Chicago Cubs during the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 hits a homer in the 7th inning. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 hits a homer in the 7th inning. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates as he watches the flight of his RBI double in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. Puig added a solo home run two innings later to help his team to a 5-2 victory over the Cubs. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig celebrates as he watches the flight of his RBI double in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. Puig added a solo home run two innings later to help his team to a 5-2 victory over the Cubs. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig celebrates as he tracks the flight of his RBI double during the fifth inning of Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. Puig added a home run in the seventh inning of a 5-2 victory. (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig celebrates as he tracks the flight of his RBI double during the fifth inning of Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. Puig added a home run in the seventh inning of a 5-2 victory. (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The crowd cheers in the 5th inning as Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 hits a run scoring double. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The crowd cheers in the 5th inning as Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 hits a run scoring double. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 celebrates as he runs toward 1st base after hitting a run scoring double in the 5th inning. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 celebrates as he runs toward 1st base after hitting a run scoring double in the 5th inning. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 stands on 2nd base after hitting a run scoring double in the 5th inning. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig #66 stands on 2nd base after hitting a run scoring double in the 5th inning. The Dodgers hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the National League Championship series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles, CA 10/14/2017 (Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig reacts after hitting a RBI double in the fifth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig reacts after hitting a RBI double in the fifth inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig cheers on his team in the seventh inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig cheers on his team in the seventh inning of a National League Championship Series baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, middle, celebrates the Dodgers’ 5-2 win with third baseman Justin Turner, left, and first baseman Cody Bellinger after Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, middle, celebrates the Dodgers’ 5-2 win with third baseman Justin Turner, left, and first baseman Cody Bellinger after Game 1 of baseball’s National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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LOS ANGELES — There was a time, not so long ago, that many of his Dodger teammates wished Yasiel Puig was working in a different room.

That has happened. Most of them are gone. He is still here.

He is not missing cutoff men. He is not acting out (as much). He is on time (somewhat more often).

In 2013 Puig played a harlequin version of right field as the Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs, 9-0, in St. Louis. The clubhouse consensus was that their Wild Horse, who had done an impressive cannonball into the major leagues that summer and was selling shelves of jerseys every week at Dodger Stadium, needed to either grow up or get out.

Now Puig is 26 and only three of those teammates (Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez and Kenley Jansen) are still Dodgers. On Saturday night at Wrigley Field, only one position player, Justin Turner, was on the lineup card for both this game and Game 6 in Wrigley Field last year.

Puig is 26. He can become a free agent after next season, but right now he is part of the furniture. He is not a team leader, but he has become a good follower.

And, right now, he is a much better baseball player than you realize, if you get charmed by the tongue-flashing and the crotch-chopping and the bat-flipping.

He was at his best in Game 1, drilling a hollow-point double for the Dodgers’ first run and then lofting a home run for L.A.’s fourth, in the 5-2 win over Chicago. Typically, he flipped his bat for the double and he wasn’t sure on the homer.

“When I hit the homer I thought it was going,” Puig said, “but later I see the left fielder say ‘I got it,’ and I started running. I think the wind helped me a little bit tonight.”

Then he blew into the microphone. Home runs and sound effects. That’s full service.

Puig does his postgame interviews, at least the ones on the podium, in English now, at least when he is asked questions in English. That is something Fernando Valenzuela and Vladimir Guerrero never did.

Latino players have quietly smoldered over the fact that they are expected to conduct media responsibilities in English, when their slightest foible can be either misinterpreted or mocked or both. When Japanese and Korean players make it to the major leagues, their interpreters are there as a matter of course.

So this is not a small thing. Puig is working at being a professional. He is an active manager of his Wild Horse Foundation. He was not going to misbehave his way out of the big leagues, although Dave Roberts and the front office sent him to Oklahoma City last summer and demonstrated to him, and to others, that the Dodgers could win without him. Roberts also benched him last month when Puig’s clock started malfunctioning again.

The light might have shone brightest on Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger this year, but Puig provided the Dodgers with 28 home runs. That is a career high and so are his RBI (74) and slugging percentage. Puig walks in 11.2 percent of his plate appearances, almost double his rate of last year, which is perhaps a byproduct of his eighth spot in the batting order most of the season.

“He’s really made exponential strides,” Roberts said. “I couldn’t be more proud.”

Puig was asked if he was having more fun than ever. “No, when I was five years old I played better,” he said.

That was just Horseplay. Puig knows where he was and where he is now.

“I try to do the best I can in this game,” he said. “I’m coming here and preparing more now than at any other time with this team. My teammates helped me a lot, and so did the manager and the coaches. I’m so proud of myself and I want to keep going.

“I grew up a little bit more, and I go to home plate having fun, because I know if I hit nothing, do nothing in the game, my teammates are going to have my back.”

Puig had a .740 OPS last year with only 45 RBI in 368 plate appearances. This year his OPS is .833.  Because of that he is now one of the most underpaid outfielders around, with a $6.5 million check this year and $7.5 million next year, after which he can become a much-desired free agent.

So there’s a difference. Nobody wants Puig to leave the room anymore. Not when the party is getting started.

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Whicker: Dodgers, Cody Bellinger show their leathery side in Game 1 win

LOS ANGELES — Since Sept. 22, nothing they did meant anything. Aimless games. Playoff auditions. Meetings and videos and ticket requests and logistics and a lava flow of stats.

Baseball teams rarely have time to look around. Now the Dodgers had to kill more of it than they ever imagined.

The Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks were the final teams to throw a postseason pitch. The American League teams had finished two games before their Game 1.

Two things could happen: the Dodgers would be burdened by the weight of their 104 wins and their 29 years without rings, or they would play like the selves they showed throughout that season.

Leadoff man Chris Taylor took two strikes from Taijuan Walker, fouled and worked his way to 3-and-2, and got a base hit.

The reset button was on.

The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks, 9-5, after they led, 7-1. They left their fans to fret about the four home runs off Clayton Kershaw, but otherwise they rediscovered themselves, the focus and the flair. Justin Turner got five RBI in his methodical way and Yasiel Puig drove all over the road.

And in one moment of potential turbulence, Cody Bellinger provided the defensive layer that the Dodgers had produced without much notice all year.

The score was 4-1 in the top of the fourth. A.J. Pollock had homered off Kershaw the previous inning. Here, J.D. Martinez singled. The Dodgers then turned the first of three double plays. But Kershaw, not quite on his pre-injury game, walked Adam Rosales.

Ketel Marte chopped a ball that looked as if it would ooze past Bellinger and Logan Forsythe and into right field, to bring the tying run to the plate.

Instead, first baseman Bellinger extended his glove to the limit and nabbed it, and then flipped to Corey Seager for the force that ended the inning.

“I just kept putting my hand out and it wound up in the glove,” Bellinger said. “I didn’t have a good grip on it at first.”

Sometimes the plays that keep you from losing are as crucial as the ones that let you win. The Dodgers gratefully got three runs in their fourth, and the rest was entertainment: Brandon Morrow snuffing a rally with one 99 mph pitch, a resurgent Seager providing a single to left and a triple to right, and Puig being Puig, as if he could do otherwise.

Puig doubled home the fourth run in the first inning and executed a Shawn Michaels crotch chop when he came up with his slide. He tripled in the seventh inning and looked up from that slide, saw his dugout celebrating and stuck out his tongue again and again

“I don’t know what that was,” Bellinger said.

“Sometimes you shake your head, sometimes you smile,” said Manager Dave Roberts, who did a lot of head-shaking last week when Puig reverted to his own time zone. But Puig was part of the fun the Dodgers were rediscovering.

“I was getting anxious,” Bellinger said. “I wasn’t really nervous. It was exciting, hearing the crowd roar. By the first pitch, all of that goes away.

“I didn’t really feel that urgency until today. We’d spent some days with live pitching, our pitchers had faced live hitting. It’s always good to have a couple of days off. By tonight we were ready to go.”

For Taylor, the frame tightened on Wednesday night, when the Diamondbacks held off Colorado and moved into the Dodgers’ bracket.

“That’s when I started saying I wanted to get out there,” Taylor said. “You’ve been off a couple of days, now it’s time to get started. The way we kept scoring, it felt like the beginning of the year. It seemed like everything was clicking.”

The Dodgers got five hits in 15 at-bats with men in scoring position. The 15 was as impressive as the five because it pressured the Arizona pitchers. Walker was gone after one inning, and rookie Zack Godley, usually a starter, made a nice one-man stand for five innings.

The Diamondbacks need all the bullpen they can get because they used Robbie Ray, the Game 2 starter Saturday, for 34 pitches in the wild-card win Wednesday.

Ray was 3-0 against the Dodgers this year and was untouchable in two late-season victories. He will be pitching with three days’ rest. It’s natural to wonder if he’ll be compromised in any way.

Meanwhile, Kershaw announced that he is immediately preparing for Game 5, which would be Thursday. That’s significant because, at long last, he won’t be asked to pitch a playoff game on unnaturally short rest.

The ninth inning wasn’t a save situation but Kenley Jansen pitched it anyway, and it turned out sloppy. There was a single and a walk and an error by Seager. The final hitter was David Peralta, and he sent a seed up the middle that disappeared, hard, into Jansen’s glove, the type of projectile the Dodgers either caught or dodged for most of six months.

On Friday they were a target that had remembered how to move.

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Miller: Dodgers jump on Diamondbacks, then romp to Yasiel Puig’s antics

LOS ANGELES — His pursuit of postseason immortality lasted longer Friday than anyone would have dared dream.

Finally, Taijuan Walker buckled, striking out Curtis Granderson and ending his bid for an imperfect game.

Before that deflating development, the Dodgers were 4 for 4 with a walk against Arizona’s starter, who, let’s be honest, in Game 1 of this National League Division Series was more of a finisher.

By the time Walker was done – he lasted only one inning, one inning that required him to make 48 pitches en route to surrendering four runs – the Diamondbacks were done, too.

The Dodgers eventually won, 9-5, Arizona unable to overcome its early bottomless pit despite eventually hitting four homers off Clayton Kershaw, something that never before had happened to a Dodgers pitcher in the postseason.

For a team that will be dissatisfied closing with anything other than a World Series championship, the Dodgers certainly opened with a flourish, a game that lasted 3:37 essentially over in mere minutes.

“It’s just nice to jump on them early,” shortstop Corey Seager said. “It’s nice to get Game 1, get the momentum and move on from there.”

In an ideal world, Walker wouldn’t have been the Diamondbacks’ first choice to start this game. Or second choice.

No, in an ideal world, former Dodger Zack Greinke would have drawn this spot opposite Kershaw in a showdown of genuine No. 1s.

But, in an ideal world, Arizona wouldn’t wear uniforms that look like George Jetson’s pajamas, either.

As it was, Greinke started the game that brought the Diamondbacks here, their wild-card victory over Colorado.

Unfortunately for Arizona, Robbie Ray also was needed in that game in relief, leaving this start to Walker, who entered Friday without having as much as a winning regular-season record.

“That was a huge positive,” Seager said. “They had to throw their guys to advance. We got to heal up, rest and get ready.”

Walker was 9-9 in 2017 and, for his career, 31-31, the absolute picture – and, for that matter, pitcher – of mediocrity.

At age 25, he also was making his postseason debut, going up against a veteran who who has done just about everything in baseball except during October, a month that mostly has done onto him.

Still, having Kershaw in this matchup represented a monumental advantage for the Dodgers, one they seized so quickly and aggressively that they risked 50 simultaneous hamstring pulls.

“It’s hard to pitch to our lineup,” rookie Cody Bellinger said. “When we come out with a plan and we execute it, then good things happen.”

Loud things happen, too.

After Chris Taylor singled and Seager walked to start the bottom of the first, Justin Turner ripped a three-run homer estimated to have traveled 424 feet to left-center, holding his post-swing pose like a satisfied golfer.

It’s normally considered a bad sign for a starting pitcher to have more mound visits from a coach than outs recorded.

But suddenly, just three batters into the game, there was Arizona’s Mike Butcher, counseling Walker. Or perhaps just stalling, killing time hoping Dodger Stadium would stop swaying with raucous delight.

“That’s a big homer,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Big homer. We had a great offensive night. Obviously, you feel pretty good when Clayton’s on the mound.”

Up 3-0, Bellinger followed with a single and then scored on a double by Yasiel Puig, igniting more noise, burying Walker and the Diamondbacks under even more decibels.

Upon reaching second, Puig, apparently caught up in the chaos he had just helped create, executed what I believe is known as a double crotch-chop.

I do know the NFL once fined Carson Palmer for making a similar gesture. I’m not sure, however, where baseball stands on the matter.

Let’s just all agree, though, that it’s probably not a bad thing that, by the time Puig was self chopping, it was already approaching 11 p.m. for television viewers on the East Coast.

It also was getting awfully late for Walker, who didn’t secure his first out until his 38th pitch. By comparison, Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow later would get four outs on seven pitches.

Speaking of later, Puig punctuated a seventh-inning head-first slide on a triple by holding his mouth agape and wagging his tongue in the direction of the Dodgers’ dugout, a visual captured by cameras in graphic super slow-motion.

It was somewhat reminiscent of Michael Jordan’s famous tongue cameos, only with much more passion and far less grace.

For Dodgers fans, however, the moment was equally as signature, Puig and his teammates enjoying a playful romp over an opponent that, on this night especially, entered as overmatched and exited the same way.

“When I slide, that’s my reaction,” Puig explained. “I don’t know why. I feel maybe ice cream in front of me or something like that.”

Ice cream or a cream puff? Whatever, the Dodgers took full advantage and ate it up in Game 1.

What could be a long postseason feast started Friday with dessert.

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Late, late show can’t stop Dodgers from losing 11th consecutive game, 8-6

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) can’t make the catch on a triple by San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) can’t make the catch on a triple by San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo looks up at the rain during a delay during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo looks up at the rain during a delay during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Fans cover themselves from the rain during a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Fans cover themselves from the rain during a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • San Francisco Giants starter Chris Stratton throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    San Francisco Giants starter Chris Stratton throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Jarrett Parker looks up at the rain during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    San Francisco Giants’ Jarrett Parker looks up at the rain during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers players sit in the dugout during a rain delay during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Dodgers players sit in the dugout during a rain delay during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • The field is covered with a tarp for a rain delay during a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    The field is covered with a tarp for a rain delay during a baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Ty Blach throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    San Francisco Giants pitcher Ty Blach throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Denard Span, center, celebrates his two-run home run with teammate Joe Panik, right, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    San Francisco Giants’ Denard Span, center, celebrates his two-run home run with teammate Joe Panik, right, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) throws to the San Francisco Giants during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) throws to the San Francisco Giants during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence, right, is congratulated by teammate Denard Span (2) after scoring against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence, right, is congratulated by teammate Denard Span (2) after scoring against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe (11) scores a run on teammate Corey Seager’s single against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe (11) scores a run on teammate Corey Seager’s single against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Chris Stratton, left, is taken out of the game by manager Bruce Bochy (15) during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    San Francisco Giants pitcher Chris Stratton, left, is taken out of the game by manager Bruce Bochy (15) during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (66) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (66) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager hits a single to drive in two-runs against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager hits a single to drive in two-runs against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Joe Panik hits a sacrifice bunt against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    San Francisco Giants’ Joe Panik hits a sacrifice bunt against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey hits a single to score a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey hits a single to score a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner (10) stands on second base after hitting a double to score a run against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner (10) stands on second base after hitting a double to score a run against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • San Francisco Giants left fielder Jarrett Parker (6) can’t make the stop on a double by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner as center fielder Denard Span (2) looks on during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    San Francisco Giants left fielder Jarrett Parker (6) can’t make the stop on a double by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner as center fielder Denard Span (2) looks on during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval (48) slides into home plate past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, left, to score a run on a single by Hunter Pence during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval (48) slides into home plate past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, left, to score a run on a single by Hunter Pence during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence hits a single to drive in a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence hits a single to drive in a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Denard Span rounds third base to score a run on a double by teammate Buster Posey against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

    San Francisco Giants’ Denard Span rounds third base to score a run on a double by teammate Buster Posey against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

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SAN FRANCISO — Good morning. The Dodgers did not lose a game Monday.

But their demons pursued them into the early-morning hours. It took until 2:11 Tuesday morning but the Dodgers’ losing streak reached 11 thanks to an 8-6 loss to the San Francisco Giants that took more than six hours to complete.

The forces of nature helped the Dodgers avoid their fate for awhile. But even that wasn’t enough to prevent their 16th loss in the past 17 games.

A series of thunderstorms moved through the Bay Area, featuring lightning strikes and heavy rains and producing two separate delays at AT&T Park – one before the game even started and another after just one batter.

The start of the game was delayed 42 minutes before the first pitch was thrown. It was stopped minutes later after five pitches. That batter, Curtis Granderson, struck out. Apt, considering the way things have been going for Granderson individually and the Dodgers collectively over the past 2½ weeks, the skies opened almost immediately.

After waiting nearly three hours, the rain finally stopped and both sides agreed to resume the game at 10:50 p.m. and play deep into the night – a decision that confused the seagulls who gather over AT&T Park to make a post-game meal of the trash in the stands. They arrived about 10 p.m., expecting the game to be in the ninth inning only to be shooed away by the crowd’s clapping.

According to Giants CEO Larry Baer on the team’s broadcast, the Dodgers were unwilling to give up a mutual off day and reschedule the game for Thursday. The Dodgers are scheduled to travel cross country Thursday to Washington for a three-game weekend series against the National League East champion Nationals.

The Dodgers were able to make more progress in the NL West by not playing than their efforts on the field have produced in the past 10 days. The Arizona Diamondbacks lost, 5-4, at home to the Colorado Rockies on Monday, their game finishing just as the San Francisco grounds crew began prepping the field (again) for the resumption of play.

That loss cut the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the NL West to 10. Try as they might, the Dodgers couldn’t summon any more magic.

Right-hander Kenta Maeda had a worse night than the seagulls. He didn’t take the mound until 11 o’clock then quickly surrendered four runs in three innings, including home runs by Denard Span and Jarrett Parker. It was the 10th time in these 17 games that the Dodgers trailed after the first three innings. Their starting pitchers have a 6.54 ERA in that time.

Early deficits have become a nightly occurrence. Comebacks have not.

This time, though, the Dodgers rallied to tie the score at 4-4 in the fourth and Yasiel Puig gave them a lead with a solo home run leading off the fifth.

But the Dodgers’ bullpen kept giving up runs like nightcaps as last call approached. The Giants scored in six of the first seven innings, a stretch that also featured a taped rendition of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” to honor the tragedy of Sept. 11 – during a seventh-inning stretch on Sept. 12.

The loss was the Dodgers’ 21st in their past 28 games at AT&T Park. Clayton Kershaw has been the starting pitcher in five of the seven victories. He starts Tuesday’s late game.

More to come on this story.

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