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    Christian Walker’s power show at Dodger Stadium continues
    • July 5, 2024

    LOS ANGELES – Years from now, fans will be able to say they saw Babe Ruth play at Dodger Stadium. It’s just that he was wearing No. 53 for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Christian Walker seems to be channeling the Bambino every time he steps into the batters’ box at Dodger Stadium. He hit two home runs again Thursday night as the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 9-3 to take two out of three games in the series.

    Walker hit five home runs in the series – one on Tuesday, two each in Diamondbacks wins on Wednesday and Thursday.

    But Walker’s Ruthian exploits at Dodger Stadium are not just a brief residency. He seems to have a mortgage on the place.

    He has hit nine home runs in nine games against the Dodgers this season including seven in six games at Dodger Stadium. In 42 career games at Chavez Ravine, Walker has 19 home runs.

    When the Dodgers intentionally walked Walker in his third time up Thursday, it drew applause from the home fans who had tired of watching their team touch a hot stove.

    Walker is a potential free agent this winter – a free agency Dodgers fans might want to track as zealously as Shohei Ohtani’s “flight” to Toronto last winter in hopes that Walker signs with a team that makes less frequent visits to Los Angeles.

    Walker’s five home runs on this visit covered a combined 2007 feet.Thursday’s starter Landon Knack was the only pitcher victimized twice.

    And the mistakes ran the gamut – one slider (from Bobby Miller on Tuesday), one changeup (from Knack in the third inning Thursday) and three fastballs ranging from Ryan Yarbrough’s 87-mph version (in the fourth inning Wednesday) to Knack’s 94-mph offering (in the first inning Thursday) to Michael Petersen’s 95-mph version (in the ninth inning Wednesday).

    If Knack kept the tradition alive by giving up the homers to Walker, he also continued a more recent trend from Dodgers’ starters.

    In six games since Gavin Stone’s complete-game shutout in Chicago, Dodgers’ starting pitchers have allowed 25 runs in 24 innings on 39 hits and 11 walks. Only one of them (Miller on Tuesday) completed five innings.

    Not coincidentally, the Dodgers are 3-3 over those six games.

    Walker’s homers and another solo shot by Joc Pederson put the Diamondbacks up 4-0 after three innings but the Dodgers responded with a three-run burst in the fourth inning. Singles by Andy Pages and Miguel Vargas (who entered the game when Jason Heyward left after two innings with left knee pain) and a walk of Chris Taylor loaded the bases with one out. One run scored on a ground out and Austin Barnes drove in two more with a single.

    The Diamondbacks added a run in the fifth inning and blew it open with xxx in the ninth.

    The Dodgers’ offense dwindled after that three-run uprising against Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen (who went just four innings). They struck out five times in three innings against reliever Justin Martinez with just two infield singles. Martinez, Ryan Thompson and Thyago Vieira combined to retire the final 14 Dodgers batters in order.

    ​ Orange County Register 

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