Trayce Thompson drives in 8 runs with 3 home runs in Dodgers win – Orange County Register
LOS ANGELES — Trayce Thompson served firecrackers and mash on Saturday.
Thompson — who spent part of his spring playing for Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic — had eight runs with three homers as the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-1.
Acquired by the Dodgers last summer for his ability to hit the left-handed pitcher, Thompson reversed his spreads in the final four months of the season, hitting .308 with a 1,010 OPS against right-handers and just .174 with a .621 OPS against the lefties he was supposed to have.
Nonetheless, he made the Dodgers’ roster this spring as a right-hander in a squad in center field with James Outman and got his first start Saturday against Diamondbacks left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
The Dodgers came early to Bumgarner. Mookie Betts nearly cleared the left field wall but settled for a brace after determining a fan had interfered with his practice. Chris Taylor eventually drove it in with a sacrifice fly, and the Dodgers loaded Thompson’s bases with two outs.
Thompson said this spring that his struggles with lefties last year mostly had to do with struggling to catch fastballs. He didn’t have to worry about that with Bumgarner whose fastball barely breaks 90 mph at this point in his career. Instead, Thompson hammered a 0-and-1 change into the flag into left center field for a grand slam.
Bumgarner was gone in the fifth inning when JD Martinez started with a right-handed double reliever Kevin Ginkel. Miguel Vargas tied the game with two outs (his seventh MLB-leading goal in three games) and elevated Thompson.
Thompson had no trouble catching Ginkel’s fastball, driving the pitch 2-and-0 417 feet over the wall in center field for a three-run homer.
When Thompson got deep again, it was even deeper. His third homer of the game, a solo shot, came in the eighth inning against fellow right-handed reliever, rookie Carlos Vargas and went 440 feet. The multi-home run game was Thompson’s first since May 2016 against the Angels and the eight RBI is a career high.
Thompson’s early outbursts choked off the steam for a comeback match between Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw. The two faced off for the 12th time in their careers, the first since 2018 and the first since Bumgarner moved to Arizona.
The weather was kinder for Kershaw, who allowed just one run on four hits in six innings. The only run came on a solo home run by Christian Walker. If this sounds familiar, it might be. Walker has 10 career hits in 30 at-bats against Kershaw, half of which are homers. Among active players, only Nolan Arenado has as many home runs against Kershaw (also five).
Kershaw hit nine in his season debut, taking his career tally to 2,815. That propelled him past Mike Mussina to 23rd all-time.
JD Martinez added a solo home run in the seventh, his second hit of the game after starting the season 1 for 8.
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