Ohtani, Vargas homer in 8th, Smith homers in 4th straight at-bat, Dodgers top Brewers 5-3

LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani and Miguel Vargas hit solo shots in the eighth inning, Will Smith became the first Los Angeles player to homer in four consecutive at-bats in a decade, and the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 on Saturday.

After Christian Yelich went deep to tie the game at 3-all in the top of the eighth, the Dodgers responded with two homers to win their second straight in the matchup of National League division leaders.

Vargas, pinch hitting for Gavin Lux, led off the frame with a drive off Bryan Hudson (4-1) that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center to give the Dodgers the lead.

“It’s great. To be ready for those type of moments, it feels great to have success on them,” Vargas said. “I have to be ready when the moments come.”

It was Vargas’ 11th career home run, but his first as a pinch hitter.

“He was ready, prepared. Even the first swing, the foul ball, he was ready to hit coming off the bench,” manager Dave Roberts said of Vargas. “He then took a ball that was in, kept it fair and put a good swing on it.”

Two batters later, Ohtani drove a cutter from Hudson 430 feet. It was Ohtani’s 28th of the season, which leads the NL and is second in the majors behind the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has 32.

Ohtani also became the third MLB player since 1909 with a home run, triple, walk, hit by pitch and stolen base in a game. Coincidentally, the last player to do it was Yelich on June 1, 2019, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Smith, who had his first three-homer game in Friday night’s 8-5 win, hit a two-run shot off Freddy Peralta in the first inning to put the Dodgers up 2-1. The last Dodger to homer in four straight at-bats was Adrián González in 2015.

“I don’t know. Seems the same. Just stick to my approach and get the barrel of the ball in the air,” Smith said. “I’m not doing anything different, it was just kind of happening. Just stick to it and hopefully good things happen.”

The Dodgers have gone deep seven times in the first two games of the series.

Rhys Hoskins also homered for the Brewers, who have dropped four of six on their road trip.

Even Phillips (2-0) got the win despite allowing the tying homer to Yelich and Alex Vesia retired the side in the ninth for his fifth save in seven opportunities.

Milwaukee struck first on Willy Adames’ RBI base hit to left before the Dodgers responded with three in the home half of the frame as the first four batters got aboard.

After Ohtani drew a leadoff walk, Smith connected on a fastball from Freddy Peralta and drove it over the wall in right-center. Smith’s 34 extra-base hits lead all big-league catchers and his 15 homers are tied for third.

Freddie Freeman gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead when he scored on Andy Pages’ grounder.

Hopkins, who hit the Brewers’ seventh grand slam of the season Friday night, got Milwaukee within a run in the fourth with a solo shot to left off Dodgers’ starter James Paxton.

“It’s great for our guys to hang in there again. You have to execute pitches and we didn’t do that,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said.


Brewers: RHP Joe Ross (low back) allowed one unearned run and three hits in 2 2/3 innings during a rehab start for Class-A Wisconsin against Beloit. It was Ross’ first rehab appearance.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (left shoulder surgery) will face hitters during a two- to three-inning simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. … 3B Max Muncy (right oblique strain) is still experiencing soreness and can’t swing a bat.


Justin Wrobleski is expected to be called up by the Dodgers and make his major league debut in Sunday’s series finale. The 23-year old left-hander was selected in the 11th round of the 2021 draft and has made only two appearances in Triple-A. LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-0, 6.75) will make his third start of the season for the Brewers.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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