LOS ANGELES — Albert Pujols was Will Smith’s favourite participant rising up. Pujols returned the favor by driving in Smith together with his first residence run as a Dodger.
“That was special,” Smith stated. “I’ll remember being on base when he hit his first one as a Dodger and high-fiving when he touched home plate. I look at him as a teammate now, not really an idol.”
The three-time NL MVP and the fresh-faced catcher simply three years into his main league profession helped Los Angeles beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Thursday night time.
Smith hit a tiebreaking, solo residence run within the seventh inning after Pujols slugged a two-run shot within the second to give the Dodgers a four-game sweep, outscoring Arizona 19-6. They went 8-1 on the homestand, and have gained 4 in a row and eight of 9.
Pujols joined the Dodgers from the Los Angeles Angels on a one-year deal Monday. He launched himself to Smith, instructed the 26-year-old catcher not to be intimidated and to ask him something.
“He told me he grew up watching me play. I was like, ’Please don’t, you make me older,’” Pujols stated. “He’s pretty special. When he’s hitting in the cage, I keep my eye on him. He has a really special swing. He knows what he wants to do, he’s really mature.”
Smith has confirmed to be a fast examine. He has sought out veteran teammates Mookie Betts and Justin Turner for recommendation. Now he can add Pujols to his retinue.
“It’s not every day you get to see one of the best hitters ever going through his cage routine,” Smith stated. “It’s only going to make me and everyone else around here better.”
Smith despatched the first pitch from Merrill Kelly (2-5) into the decrease left-field seats main off the seventh, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. Smith sparkled on protection, too, throwing out pinch-runner Tim Locastro at second to finish the eighth.
Pujols hit an 0-1 pitch from Kelly to proper area within the second, with Josh Reddick leaping to the highest of the wall in an try to make the catch. Smith, who singled main off, scored and Pujols was greeted by high-fives from his teammates within the dugout as the Dodgers led 2-0.
It was Pujols’ 668th profession residence run, most amongst energetic gamers and fifth all-time, and adopted 445 he hit for the St. Louis Cardinals and 222 for the Los Angeles Angels. The hit was his 3,256th, breaking a tie with Eddie Murray for thirteenth on the all-time record.
Pujols’ arrival has coincided with the Dodgers’ successful streak, however he claims no credit score.
“These guys are a heckuva ballclub,” he stated. “Before I got there, this team is probably the best team in the major leagues. They know how to win. It’s great to be here. I feel like home.”
The D-backs have been simply glad to get out of city, having misplaced their tenth straight on the street and fifth in a row total.
“We’ve just got to continue teaching and being stubborn and doing what we can to help these players push forward each day,” Arizona supervisor Torey Lovullo stated.
David Price opened a bullpen recreation for the Dodgers, his first begin since Sept. 1, 2019. The left-hander, who opted out final season due to the pandemic, allowed three hits and struck out one in two innings.
He was adopted by Jimmy Nelson, Alex Vesia, Joe Kelly, Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen and nearer Kenley Jansen, who earned his tenth save.
Eduardo Escobar tied the sport at 2 with a two-out, two-run homer off Joe Kelly within the sixth. Escobar had a two-run shot a night time earlier in a 4-2 loss. He singled within the eighth for his 900th profession hit and received the ball in return, a uncommon vibrant spot for the scuffling D-backs.
“It’s a really, really, really tough moment for everybody,” Escobar stated. “When hitting is good, pitcher not throw well. When pitching good, hitters not hitting. I still believe in my guys.”
The D-backs had runners on the corners later within the inning. Reddick reached on middle fielder Chris Taylor’s fielding error. Taylor thought proper fielder Mookie Betts was going to catch the ball, so he stopped and checked out Betts and the ball dropped.
Justin Turner made a diving stab on a ball hit by David Peralta, however he threw it away at first and the error allowed Reddick to transfer to third. Gonzalez (1-0) relieved Joe Kelly and struck out Domingo Leyba to finish the menace.