Dodgers’ rookie Cody Bellinger becomes fastest to 21 HR-mark

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took a philosophical route when asked to sum up his rocky outing. “So I’m going to go with the latter for now, I think”.

Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger hit two home runs in the first two innings of Monday’s game against the Mets, giving him 21 in his first 51 career Major League Baseball games. Monday, when the Mets face the second-best pitcher in baseball, it’s no different as rookie Gavin Cecchini was added to the lineup for the first time since being called up last week. He had 12 home runs in 183 career games.

Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak went three for four with his 20th home run of the season to lead the Blue Jays to a win over the Rangers.

There were eight home runs hit in the game (four by each team).

Kershaw has allowed more than one home run in four of his starts this season, matching the number of multi-homer games he had in 81 starts over the previous three seasons. The under is also a flawless 6-0 in Kershaw’s last six starts versus the Mets and has hit in five of Kershaw’s last six home starts versus NY.

Near the end of the 1984 film The Natural, protagonist Roy Hobbs – by then, an injured veteran slugger – wins the pennant for his team when he hits a home run into the lights in right field. Wheeler (3-5) yielded eight hits and has failed to record an out in the third inning in back-to-back starts.

“I wanted to get him in a game and I thought this would be a good challenge for him”, manager Terry Collins said. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of it”. “But it all starts with me”. “You hope your mistakes are hit for singles or doubles”.

Kershaw was charged with six runs on six hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings. Bellinger also drove in four runs.

Wheeler tossed too many pitches in the zone and the Dodgers feasted to grab a 4-0 lead in the first.

In the second, Turner smacked a two-run shot to left for a 6-0 advantage. Bellinger followed Turner’s home run in the second with a solo shot.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger hits a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Los Angeles.

Bruce added a solo shot in the fourth to slice the margin to 7-2. Jay Bruce also connected and rookie Gavin Cecchini hit a two-run shot for NY.

NOTES: The Dodgers recognized franchise legends Don Newcombe, Maury Wills and Frank Robinson during its African American Heritage Night festivities. No other player in the majors has hit more than 17 homers in that time and no other player in major-league history has hit as many in his first 51 big-league games. Mets SS Jose Reyes passed Keith Hernandez for ninth on the franchise RBI leaders with 469. Right-handed reliever Sergio Romo (left ankle sprain) was activated from the DL and struggling RHP Josh Fields was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

As Wheeler has endured back-to-back disastrous outings, the Mets now have to evaluate whether this a rough stretch of if Wheeler has hit a wall in his first season back.