Clearly the Dodgers don’t believe in respecting their elders.
Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, and Yasiel Puig all homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat up on 45-year-old Bartolo Colon, to blowout the Texas Rangers, 12-5, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
In their first tango with Texas since 2015, the Dodgers improved to 8-2 in the month of June and have won 18 of 24 overall.
Tuesday’s matchup featured a generation war between Colon and 21-year-old rookie Caleb Ferguson.
Ferguson was just nine months old when Colon made his MLB debut–flash forward 20 years later–and the experienced veteran was on the mound making his 540th start, while Ferguson was making his second.
“I was seven years old when he made his debut, that’s kind crazy to think about that,” said Dodgers infielder Max Muncy. “It’s fun to face guys like that. Other than my dad in batting practice, he’s the oldest guy I’ve ever homered against.”
Ferguson was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to the game, sending rookie right-hander Walker Buehler to the 10-day disabled list.
Buehler became the sixth starting pitcher to join the DL, giving the Dodgers an MLB-high 11 current players on the disabled list.
The Dodgers have also used 11 different starting pitchers this season, tied for the second most in the Major Leagues behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who utilize a new strategy of starting relief pitchers and then inserting the starters.
“We tried that,” joked Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts the other day about starting a reliever. “That didn’t go so well.”
In his Dodger Stadium debut, Ferguson pitched well, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in four innings.
“This went a lot better obviously,” said Ferguson about his second start compared to his first. “It’s nice to get my feet even more wet with this one, pitch deeper into the game, and handle adversity in those innings. But yeah, definitely a lot better.”
The outing lasted much longer than his first career start in which he lasted just 1.2 innings at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
“I don’t have to try and put every pitch on the black,” said Ferguson about what he learned from his first start in Pittsburgh. “I just have to make really competitive pitches in the zone. That’s a thing that helped me a lot this start.”
Early in the game, Colon collected his 2,500th career strikeout.
Congrats, Big Sexy on becoming the 3rd active pitcher to reach 2,500 career strikeouts. pic.twitter.com/DTeGVRjnVb
However, it was all downhill for the man they call “Big Sexy” from there, as the Dodgers scored three runs in the bottom of the second, punctuated by a two-run homer for Joc Pederson.
“You have to tip your hat. Turner Ward said his last career at-bat was against Bartolo Colon,” said Pederson of facing the 45-year-old pitcher. “He does a good job of spotting up and obviously that’s why he’s been around so long. I just tried to get a good pitch and put a good swing on it.
Pederson said he’s been “trusting the process,” and finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. In his last 13 games, Pederson has launched seven home runs with five doubles, 11 runs, and 10 RBI.
“I used to get real frustrated over not getting the results,” said Pederson. “Instead I’ve been sticking to the process and if the results aren’t there hopefully they’ll be there tomorrow.”
An inning later, Max Muncy continued his sizzling start to June with his fourth home run in four consecutive games.
“I think everyone is just kinda feeling the momentum up and down the lineup,” said Muncy. “Everyday someone steps up, you don’t know who it’s going to be, but it’s a good feeling right now.”
Muncy finished the game 2-for-5 and extended his career-high hitting streak to eight games.
The Dodgers would break the game open in the bottom of the fourth, as they sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring a total of seven runs off Colon and reliever Alex Claudio.
Yasiel Puig highlighted the inning with a two-run blast off Colon for his eighth homer of the season.
Puig drove in a season-high three runs and is red-hot in the month of June, batting .417 with 10 runs, five doubles, three homers and nine RBI.
Colon (3-4), allowed a season-high eight runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts in just 3 and 1/3 innings.
The eight runs allowed were the most Colon has surrendered in over a year (June 5, 2017) and in 11 career starts against the Dodgers, he is 2-7 with a 6.12 ERA.
13 years to the day former Dodger Hee-seop Choi became the first Asian Major Leaguer to hit three home runs in one game, Shin-Soo Choo sent Yimi Garcia deep in the top of the fifth inning for his 12th home run of the season.
Cody Bellinger reached base safely in four of five plate appearances and finished the game going 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, an RBI and two walks.
Daniel Corcino, pitched three innings of relief, earning the first save of his career.
The victory extends the Dodgers undefeated consecutive series streak to eight as the interleague matchup with the Rangers is a simple Texas two-step.
The finale of the short, two-game, interleague series concludes on Wednesday as LHP Cole Hamels is expected to face RHP Kenta Maeda for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.
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