Dodgers get home runs from Miguel Vargas, Shohei Ohtani to win in the eighth inning – Orange County Register

LOS ANGELES – Keeping Miguel Vargas out of the starting lineup is starting to look like a bad idea.

Vargas came off the bench to hit a go-ahead, pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning Saturday, helping to rescue a game that nearly got away from the Dodgers. Shohei Ohtani also homered in the eighth inning as the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 Saturday afternoon.

The Dodgers led for most of the game after a three-run first inning, featuring Will Smith’s fourth consecutive home run. But Evan Phillips gave up a game-tying home run to Christian Yelich in the top of the eighth.

The Dodgers saw that eighth-inning homer and raised them one. In fact, they have hit seven home runs in the first two games of this series. Vargas has hit two of them and Smith four.

A Will Smith hasn’t had such a good weekend since Men In Black’ opened.

The Dodgers catcher made it home runs in four consecutive at-bats with his two-run home run in the first inning Saturday,

Smith had just two home runs in 99 plate appearances before Friday but hit three in the series opener against the Brewers then made it four in six plate appearances (he walked twice Friday) with another opposite-field shot in the first inning Saturday. He hit a 367-foot drive in his second at-bat – but it was caught by Brewers centerfielder Blake Perkins just short of the warning track.

Smith is the first Dodger to hit home runs in four consecutive at-bats since Adrian Gonzalez did it in April 2015 and the first major-leaguer since Jose Altuve last September.

Smith’s home run Saturday off Brewers starter Freddy Peralta followed a walk of Ohtani. Freddie Freeman and Teoscar Hernandez followed Smith with singles and a third run scored on a fielder’s choice by Andy Pages

After striking out in 15 of 29 at-bats before Saturday, Ohtani reached base five times on two walks, a hit by pitch, a 101-mph laser off the right-center field wall for a triple in the sixth and his National League-leading 28th home run of the season.

But the Dodgers stranded him three times including after the two-out triple and in the fourth inning when his walk loaded the bases with one out. Smith struck out and Freeman grounded out.

That left a one-run lead to protect most of the day. Starter James Paxton gave up a first-inning run on a two-out RBI single by Willy Adames and  solo home run to Rhys Hoskins in the fourth then handed the ball to the bullpen after the fifth inning.

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