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LA Dodgers feel Corey Seager’s power in victory over Atlanta Braves

first_imgBut Seager led off the fourth inning with a drive into the right-field pavilion. Thompson matched him in the fifth inning and Seager did it again in the sixth, a 414-foot drive that looked a lot like the first.In the eighth, he wedged another solo shot into the seats down the left-field line, just beyond the reach of Braves outfielder Mallex Smith.The three-homer night gives Seager a team-high 12 already this season – second only to Colorado’s Trevor Story (15) among full-time shortstops (Manny Machado has 14 while splitting time between third base and shortstop). Thompson is in his shadow with nine.When the Dodgers arrived in Colorado for a three-game series beginning on April 21, Seager was hitting just .226 with one home run. Since then, he is batting .308 with 11 home runs and an increasingly-firm grip on the National League Rookie of the Year race.“I’m enjoying the ride,” Roberts said. “I’m the enjoying the development, the evolution, whatever you want to call it. To see how he prepares himself, the process – it seems like every night he’s going to do something special.“The consistency with the glove should never be overlooked. But what he did tonight – three homers and to put us on his back – it’s hard to believe he’s 22 years old. It’s something special.”Kenta Maeda isn’t a rookie in the same sense that Seager and Thompson are. But his first year with the Dodgers has been filled with ups and downs. Friday’s start qualified as an up.Maeda was touched for an unearned run in the first inning when a passed ball by Grandal moved Freddie Freeman into scoring position and Adonis Garcia drove him in with a two-out RBI single.Again in the second inning, the Braves pushed across a run against Maeda. Singles by Tyler Flowers, Teheran and Mallex Smith were good for that one.But Maeda retired 14 of the next 17 batters he faced, pitching into the seventh inning despite cracking the 100-pitch barrier for only the third time in his 11 starts. Maeda threw a season-high 107 pitches after getting an extra day between starts to rest a sore right hand (caused by a line drive back to the mound in his start at Citi Field last Saturday). The Dodgers would never label this season a youth movement. But it has become one – luckily for them.Rookie shortstop Corey Seager hit three home runs and combined with Trayce Thompson to produce all of the Dodgers offense in a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves Friday night.Seager is the first Dodgers rookie to hit three home runs in a game since Don Demeter did it at the Coliseum on April 21, 1959. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the 22-year-old Seager is the sixth-youngest player in MLB history to have a three-homer game.“It was one of those nights where it doesn’t matter what he was throwing, it felt like it was on a tee,” Seager said. “You get kind of locked in. … You see everything and it’s right there at your hands.” Thompson added his own solo home run and a double, all the hits the Dodgers managed in the win over the Braves.In the bigger picture, Seager and Thompson have been carrying the Dodgers’ offense for awhile now. One or the other – each in their first full seasons in the big leagues – can claim the team lead in home runs, runs, RBI, hits, total bases (all Seager’s), slugging percentage, OPS and OPS-plus (Thompson’s).Given the frequently-somnambulant state of the Dodgers’ offense (and the ongoing slumps of more established hitters like Yasmani Grandal, Justin Turner and Carl Crawford), the prospects of an offense devoid of their 25-and-under demographic (a group that includes Seager and Thompson’s housemate, Joc Pederson) are not attractive.“Would you have thought that at the beginning of the season? Probably not,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To get that production offensively from these guys is great. That production from the other guys is going to come.”It didn’t come against Braves starter Julio Teheran Friday. He retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, only a walk to Grandal marring the procession.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more