Dodgers keep streak going, score 5 again to beat Giants

LOS ANGELES — The ceiling for this Dodgers lineup is still unknown. But they seem to have established a floor at five runs.

The Dodgers have scored at least five times in each of their first eight games this season. That was just enough to beat the San Francisco Giants, 5-4, Tuesday night.

This is the first time the Dodgers have started a season with at least five runs in each of their first eight games since they joined the National League in 1890. Only nine other teams since 1900 have scored five or more runs in each of their first eight games (or more), according to MLB statistician Sarah Langs.

Mookie Betts has done much of that scoring himself during an MVP-level start to his season.

Betts was 2 for 5 with his fifth home run of the season and scored two of the Dodgers’ runs Tuesday night.

He reached base on a single in the first inning, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Freddie Freeman. It was the fourth time in eight games Betts has scored in the first inning – the Dodgers have won all four of those games.

In his next at-bat, Betts lifted a 3-and-1 changeup from Giants ace Logan Webb into the left field pavilion for a solo home run – and the 1,500th hit of his career.

Betts has already scored 14 runs this season. The New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins have not. And Betts’ five home runs are more than 10 teams have managed to hit this season.

The home run tied the score at 2-2 after left-hander Ryan Yarbrough got off to a rough start in his non-start.

Once through the rotation on this homestand, Dodgers’ starters gave up four runs in 27 innings. But they opted for a bullpen game Tuesday in order to keep those starters on at least five days of rest.

The Dodgers got a scoreless first inning from Ryan Brasier before sending Yarbrough out in the ‘bulk’ role.

The first batter he faced, Wilmer Flores, doubled and eventually scored on a two-out single by Nick Ahmed. In the third inning, Yarbrough gave up another leadoff double (to Matt Chapman) and another run.

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The Dodgers took the lead with a three-run burst from the bottom half of their lineup in the fourth inning. Max Muncy led off with a double. Teoscar Hernandez drew a walk. Two batters later, Gavin Lux doubled in one run and Kiké Hernandez drove in two with a single.

That lead nearly melted away in the sixth inning.

Yarbrough ran into trouble again, giving up a leadoff home run to Jorge Soler and singles to Michael Conforto and Flores. A run scored on a force out, making it a one-run game. Alex Vesia came in and gave up a long fly out to Austin Slater before escaping further damage.

Michael Grove and Evan Phillips combined to protect that one-run lead over the final three innings with Phillips getting a four-out save.

More to come on this story.

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