MIAMI (AP) When Cody Bellinger tripled to hit for the cycle Saturday, the Dodgers dugout called for the ball, giving the rookie another keepsake in a rapidly expanding collection.
His other souvenirs?
”First homer, second homer, first double, first RBI, something else – a lot of firsts,” Bellinger said with a grin.
He’s not the only Dodger marking milestones. Bellinger became the franchise’s first rookie to hit for the cycle , and Alex Wood became the first Dodgers pitcher in more than a century to win his first 11 decisions in a season, helping the NL West leaders beat the Miami Marlins 7-1 for their eighth consecutive victory.
Bellinger said the cycle was his first at any level. He’s the ninth player in the Dodgers’ 128-year history to hit for the cycle.
”In this organization there is so much history,” he said. ”To see my name on some of that is pretty humbling.”
Bellinger singled in the first inning, hit a two-run homer in the third, added an RBI double in the fourth and hit his second career triple on the first pitch of the seventh. His triple off Nick Wittgren barely cleared the glove of right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who tried to making a running backhanded catch.
Wood (11-0) struck out 10 in six scoreless innings, lowered his ERA to 1.56 and graciously conceded any headlines to Bellinger.
”He’s pretty special, huh?” Wood said. ”It’s great to see good things happen to good people. He is as humble and talented as they come.
”I think he feels the same as me – we just want to do well and contribute.”
They’re doing that for a team that has been the best in the baseball over the past month. Los Angeles (63-29) climbed 34 games above .500 for the first time this year and has won 28 of their past 32 games.
”I just don’t see anyone compete as much as we do,” manager Dave Roberts said. ”Our club for 27 outs competes harder than anyone. When you have the talent we have and compete the way we do every single night, we’re going to win a lot of games.”
The bandwagon included an entire section at Marlins Park , where a group that follows the team on the road unfurled its enormous blue flag with the Dodgers logo during the sixth inning.
The mood was less festive in the second inning, however, when an angry Yasiel Puig took several steps toward the mound after he was nearly hit by a pitch from Miami’s Jose Urena (7-4). Puig hit two home runs in Los Angeles’ win Friday, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning.
”Yasiel overreacted,” Roberts said. ”It’s clear to me there was no intent (by Urena).”
Los Angeles took a 5-0 lead in the third when Bellinger hit his 26th homer and Yasmani Grandal added a three-run shot , his 12th.
Bellinger’s cycle – his first four-hit game – was the fifth in the majors this year, and came against three pitchers. He became the third Dodger to hit for the cycle since the team moved to Los Angeles, and the first since Orlando Hudson on April 13, 2009.
”It’s really not a surprise,” Roberts said. ”Every time he steps on the field, something special can happen.”
The Dodgers improved to 54-18 (.750) since Bellinger was promoted from the minors.
Puig remained in the No. 8 in the order even though he’s second on the Dodgers with 18 homers.
”You look at the numbers and the production he has had, and the easy thing is to put him right in the middle of the order,” Roberts said before the game. ”But I think the right thing at this moment is to stay the course. It puts him in a good spot in the order, and the results are there.”
The Dodgers are 31-6 (.838) when Puig bats eighth.
LHP Rich Hill (5-4, 3.69) is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday for the Dodgers. Hill made his most recent appearance at Marlins Park last September, when he threw seven perfect innings before Roberts pulled him, mindful the lefty had been sidelined by a blister earlier in the season. Three relievers completed a two-hit shutout.
LHP Chris O’Grady (1-0, 5.06) will make his second start of the year for Miami as a replacement for RHP Edinson Volquez (left knee tendinitis).
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