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Christian Walker Extends Home Run Tear at Dodger Stadium
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By Associated Press
Published 3 weeks ago on
July 5, 2024

Christian Walker homered in his first two at-bats for his 18th and 19th home runs in 42 career games at Dodger Stadium as the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 9-3 on Thursday. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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LOS ANGELES — Christian Walker extended his tear at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night, homering in his first two at-bats for his 18th and 19th home runs in 42 career games at the ballpark, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3.

“Just a crazy thing,” Walker said. “Speechless for sure.”

The NL West-leading Dodgers fell to 4-5 against the D-backs this season, and won’t see them again in Los Angeles until possibly the postseason. Arizona stunned the Dodgers in the first round last year.

Up Next

Diamondbacks: RHP Slade Cecconi (2-6, 5.81 ERA) starts Friday at San Diego in the opener of a three-game series.

Dodgers: RHP Tyler Glasnow (8-5, 3.23) starts Friday against visiting Milwaukee in a matchup of division leaders.

Walker’s Performance

Joc Pederson drew boos from the sellout crowd of 52,320 when he went deep against his old team in the first, just before Walker blasted a 435-foot shot to center field off rookie Landon Knack (1-2) with two outs.

“When you get booed it means you’re probably doing something good that they don’t like,” Pederson said.

Walker had two strikes in the third when he hammered a two-run shot to left with two outs, extending Arizona’s lead to 4-0. The 33-year-old slugger has homered in five consecutive games at the stadium and gone deep nine times this season against Dodgers pitching.

“I’m proud of it, it’s a super cool thing,” he said. “It’s like a once-in-a-lifetime situation. Wouldn’t be able to do it without teammates and the hitting guys for sure.”

Walker is from the same Norristown, Pennsylvania, hometown as late Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. He was drafted in the 49th round by the Dodgers in 2009, but didn’t sign and instead played for the University of South Carolina, where he helped the Gamecocks win the College World Series in 2010 and 2011.

Walker drew his first intentional walk of the series with two outs in the fifth. He was retired on a broken-bat groundout in the seventh. He drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases in the ninth with two outs.

“When they walked him, it was like, finally,” D-backs starter Zac Gallen said. “He’s unconscious.”

Justin Martinez (3-0) got the win with three innings of relief.

Game Highlights

The D-backs scored 14 consecutive runs between the third inning of their 12-4 victory Wednesday — the Dodgers’ biggest loss of the season — and third inning Thursday.

“I feel like we just haven’t been pitching very well, honestly,” Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said. “It’s hard to win games when we have no momentum, are behind in the game a lot. We’re not doing things very well on the defensive side of the ball.”

The Dodgers cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth on Kiké Hernández’s bases-loaded RBI groundout and Barnes’ two-run single.

Dodgers stars Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman struck out three times each as the team’s NL West lead dropped to 6 1/2 games over San Diego after dropping two of three to Arizona.

The D-backs tacked on four more runs in the with two outs in the ninth. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had a two-run single and Gabriel Moreno followed with a two-run double, both on broken-bat hits that made it 7-3.

Arizona third baseman Eugenio Suárez was ejected in the middle of the eighth. He went 0 for 4, with called third strikes in the fourth and eighth innings. The second time he yelled and swung his bat while staring at home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater, who tossed him. Suárez had to be led off the field by bench coach Jeff Banister.

Trainer’s Room

Dodgers: RF Jason Heyward left the game with left knee pain in the top of the third after a leaping attempt on Pederson’s homer in the first. He’ll have an MRI on Friday. … LHP Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session. Next up is a simulated game possibly this weekend. … 3B Max Muncy (oblique) is still sore and isn’t expected back until well after the All-Star break. “It’s been a lot slower process than we hoped,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The longer he’s out, the harder it is.”

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