Cody Bellinger becomes first rookie in Los Angeles Dodgers history to hit for cycle

By Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange  |  July 16, 2017 at 1:33 AM
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MIAMI -- The Dodgers have been playing baseball for 128 years, and Cody Bellinger on Saturday night became the first rookie in franchise history to hit for the cycle.

He is also only the ninth Dodgers player to hit for the cycle and his career-best four-hit performance helped Los Angeles defeat the Miami Marlins 7-1 at Marlins Park for its eighth straight victory.

Bellinger, who had never hit for the cycle at any level of baseball, participated in the Home Run Derby on Monday and the All-Star Game on Tuesday -- both at Marlins Park -- and celebrated his 22nd birthday Thursday.

Now this.

"This past week or whatever is probably at the top of everything," said Bellinger, who seems genuinely humbled by his incredible season that includes 26 homers. "It started right here in Miami ... and it's something I will never forget."

Bellinger, an Arizona native and the Dodgers' fourth-round pick in 2013, singled in the first inning, blasted a two-run homer in the third, slugged an RBI double in the fourth and got his triple when Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton raced in on a hard line drive and had the ball tip off the top of his glove.

"I was booking it -- I was running as fast I can," Bellinger said of the triple. "It (the cycle) is in the back of your mind. But the fact that it actually went there is crazy.

"I knew I hit it well. I thought he was going to catch it, but I saw him over-run it, and that's when I thought, 'Oh, there's a chance for me to get three here'."

The four hits are a career high for Bellinger, who finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. His homer sparked a five-run third inning in which all the scoring was done with two outs.

"He's being doing crazy stuff all year," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said when asked about the Dodgers rookie.

Bellinger's heroics overshadowed excellent performances by the Dodgers duo of catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Alex Wood.

Grandal, a former Miami Hurricanes star, capped the big third inning with a three-run homer.

Wood, a first-time All-Star this year, improved his ERA to 1.56, allowing only three hits and one walk in six scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Wood hasn't lost to the Marlins since 2014, going 6-0 against them in that span.

"Me and 'Yas' were on the same page all night," Wood said of Grandal. "It's easy when you score seven runs."

The Dodgers (63-29), who have the best record in the majors, have prevailed in 28 of their past 32 games.

That type of success clearly has the fan base energized, and there was a strong contingent of Dodgers fans represented at Marlins Park. In fact, in the sixth inning, a massive "L.A." flag was unfurled in the right-field stands as Marlins fans booed.

"When you go 3,000 miles away," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, "and you hear, 'Let's Go Dodgers' and see that big blue banner ... it was pretty special to our coaches and players."

The fans also reacted when Marlins starter Jose Urena (7-4) brushed back Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig with an inside fastball. Puig shouted at Urena and took a couple steps toward him but nothing more developed.

Tempers also erupted between the teams May 19 when Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos hit Dodgers batter Brett Eibner. Ironically, Wood also won that game, and Bellinger homered.

After Saturday's tight pitch to Puig, Urena got him out. However, Urena lasted only three innings -- his shortest start of the year -- and allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks.

Roberts did not, however, blame Urena for the brush-back pitch.

"I thought Yasiel overreacted," Roberts said. "It's clear to me there was no intent."

Urena agreed with Roberts.

"(Puig)," Urena said, "acted like a little baby on that."

NOTES: Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton nearly made a spectacular catch in the sixth, crashing into the fence but failing to get the ball. Chris Taylor earned a triple on the play. ... Marlins C J.T. Realmuto's second-inning single extended his hitting streak against the Dodgers to 16 games. Only San Francisco's Jim Davenport (18) opened his career with a longer hitting streak against the Dodgers. ... Marlins RHP Edinson Volquez (left knee) has been scratched from Sunday's start. RHP Tom Koehler is expected to start in his place, moving up one day in the rotation. ... According to a Miami Herald report, more than 10 teams have asked about acquiring Marlins RHP David Phelps and only three teams have asked for RHP A.J. Ramos, who blew a ninth-inning save chance Friday. ... The Dodgers lead the majors with six victories in which they trailed entering the ninth inning. ... The Dodgers lead the majors in ERA (3.16), and lead the NL in bullpen ERA (2.95).

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