Will Smith had seen fellow Los Angeles Dodgers rookies Matt Beaty and Alex Verdugo deliver walk-off homers during their weekend series against the Colorado Rockies. Hours after being called up from the minors on Sunday, it was Smith’s turn to join the fun.
The rookie catcher connected for a pinch-hit, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning that lifted the host Dodgers to a 6-3 victory and a three-game sweep over their closest NL West pursuers.
“Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We talk about these young players not being afraid of the moment. For Will to get a pitch in and carry it to the opposite part of the field is pretty impressive.”
It is the first time in major-league history that rookie teammates have hit walk-off homers in three straight games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Matt Beaty hit a two-run shot in the ninth inning on Friday and Alex Verdugo did it in the 11th on Saturday.
The last team to win three straight games in walk-off fashion was Oakland two years ago. The Dodgers had not done it since a 2010 series against Arizona.
Photo: Harry How / Getty Images
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Smith, a 24-year-old catcher playing his seventh game in the big leagues, hit a slider from Scott Oberg (5-1) over the wall in center. Beaty singled to lead off the inning and advanced on a wild pitch, and Russell Martin was intentionally walked with two outs.
Astros 9, Yankees 4: Jose Altuve hit a leadoff homer, rookie Yordan Alvarez connected for the seventh time in 12 games, and visiting Houston ended a seven-game skid. New York had won eight straight but was stopped by Justin Verlander (10-3) and four homers, including a grand slam from Tyler White.
Angels 6, Cardinals 4: Albert Pujols had two hits and exchanged jerseys with former teammate Yadier Molina to conclude an emotional return to St. Louis as Los Angeles beat the Cardinals.
Braves 4, Nationals 3: Johan Camargo had a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the 10th inning, and visiting Atlanta beat Washington.
Indians 8, Tigers 3: Bobby Bradley doubled and drove in a run in his first major-league plate appearance and host Cleveland completed a three-game sweep.
Marlins 6, Phillies 4: Jordan Yamamoto won for the third time in three career starts, Garrett Cooper and Brian Anderson hit consecutive homers, and visiting Miami handed Philadelphia its seventh straight loss.
Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 1: Marcus Stroman pitched six shutout innings, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had three hits and threw out a runner at the plate, and visiting Toronto won its second straight.
Brewers 7, Reds 5: Brandon Woodruff struck out a career-high 12, Travis Shaw homered and host Milwaukee beat Cincinnati.
Cubs 5, Mets 3: Javier Baez hit the 100th home run of his career, a three-run drive in the eighth inning as host Chicago overcame New York rookie Pete Alonso’s 27th homer.
Royals 6, Twins 1: Hunter Dozier hit a three-run shot during a five-run third inning, Homer Bailey was stingy in pitching into the sixth and Kansas City beat visiting Minnesota.
Rangers 7, White Sox 4: Tim Federowicz and Danny Santana hit two-out, two-run homers in the second inning and Shawn Kelley shut down a late Chicago rally with his first four-out save in three years to lead host Texas.
Pirates 11, Padres 10: Kevin Newman walked with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to cap a four-run rally as host Pittsburgh finished a three-game sweep.
Mariners 13, Orioles 3: J.P. Crawford had four hits and four RBIs and host Seattle took advantage of an eight-run third.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Will-Smith-s-walk-off-homer-carries-Dodgers-14032272.php.