Joc Pederson has a chance to do something no rookie throughout the storied history of the Los Angeles Dodgers has ever accomplished.
The talented slugger can be the franchise’s first to homer in five consecutive games Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Pederson ranks among the major league leaders with 63 strikeouts but his 16 home runs lead all rookies and are tied for third overall. As Los Angeles (31-21) split Tuesday’s doubleheader, Pederson homered in each game with both estimated to have traveled at least 470 feet.
Baltimore’s Caleb Joseph was the last rookie to homer in five straight from Aug. 2-9.
”We knew the talent was there, the swing was there,” manager Don Mattingly said of Pederson, who has eight RBIs in four games and is batting .342 in his last nine.
”The best is yet to come.”
Fellow rookie Alex Guerrero belted his 10th in 39 games this season with a go-ahead, pinch-hit grand slam in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s nightcap that lifted the Dodgers to a 9-8 win. Leading the majors with 73 home runs, Los Angeles has gone deep nine times while taking two of three in this series.
Pederson went 0 for 3 versus Chad Bettis (2-0, 2.96 ERA) on May 14, when the right-hander allowed four runs, seven hits and walked four in five innings of a 5-4 loss in his season debut.
Bettis, however, has improved in each of the three starts that followed.
He gave up two runs in 8 1-3 innings of an 11-2 win over San Francisco on May 24, then yielded his only two hits in the eighth and final scoreless inning of a 4-1 victory at Philadelphia on Friday.
"The guy’s got great stuff, he works hard and does a lot of homework – watched a lot, making sure he’s mentally and physically ready," teammate Brandon Barnes said.
Mike Bolsinger (3-1, 1.15) has perhaps been more impressive for the Dodgers after going 1-6 with a 5.47 ERA in nine starts for Arizona during his first season in 2014.
The right-hander allowed only two runs in his first four starts, and although he matched that over six innings in Friday’s 3-0 loss at St. Louis, Bolsinger continues to turn heads.
”Teams are going to look at film, they’re going to try and figure him,” Mattingly said of Bolsinger, who has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City twice this season. ”But time tells you the more he pitches like this, he can do it.”
Bolsinger gave up three hits over six innings of a 1-0 win May 17 to improve to 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts versus Colorado (23-28) – both at Chavez Ravine.
Troy Tulowitzki is 2 for 3 with a home run versus Bolsinger, and batting .368 with six home runs and 22 RBIs while hitting safely in 24 of his last 26 home games against the Dodgers. He is 8 for 17 with three home runs, six runs scored and five RBIs in his last four contests overall.