HR-happy Dodgers surge past D-Backs, win doubleheader opener

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers keep falling behind early, they’ve had enough power lately to make sure they don’t stay there.

Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Justin Turner homered in a five-run sixth inning, and the Dodgers outlasted the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 Tuesday to start the first doubleheader ever played between the NL West rivals.

Will Smith also connected early for the Dodgers, whose four homers matched their season high. Betts also doubled and singled, and Freddie Freeman added a key RBI single in the seventh inning of Los Angeles’ third consecutive win after a four-game skid.

The Dodgers fell behind by multiple runs for the seventh consecutive game, but rallied to win again. Los Angeles’ lineup looked like the best in baseball when Freeman joined it in spring training, and the hitters have managed to cover for their beleaguered pitching staff lately.

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“I just think we’re getting going a little bit more,” Trea Turner said. “I feel like nobody has really played up to their potential other than maybe Mookie right now, and maybe Freddie. We know there’s a lot more in there, so hopefully going forward there’s a lot more home runs up and down the lineup. We’re all dangerous players, so I expect more of that.”

Christian Walker hit an early two-run homer and Alek Thomas added a solo shot in the seventh for the Diamondbacks, who lost their fourth straight in the opener of Dodger Stadium’s first doubleheader since 1999. Ketel Marte drove in two runs, but Arizona lost at Dodger Stadium for the 21st time in 24 games.

Arizona nursed its lead until Los Angeles’ sluggers finally got to Tyler Gilbert (0-2), who pitched five innings of one-run ball in an impressive spot start before the sixth.

“I’ve probably got to recognize when he’s running out of gas,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I was watching the game and thought he could get through a certain portion of their lineup. … If we got through that sixth inning, I thought we were going to be in good shape.”

Third base umpire Larry Vanover ejected Dodgers manager Dave Roberts in the ninth inning after Vanover ruled that leadoff hitter Geraldo Perdomo checked his swing on Craig Kimbrel’s two-strike pitch.

Replays appeared to show a clear swing by Perdomo, who subsequently drew a walk and eventually scored on Marte’s two-out infield single.

Kimbrel calmly struck out three batters to finish his seventh save — his second versus Arizona in 17 hours.

Ryan Pepiot gave up three runs and two hits over four innings for Los Angeles in his second big league start, providing a valuable bridge for the club’s injury-plagued rotation. Five relievers then combined for five innings of four-hit ball, with Justin Bruihl (1-1) getting the win.

“It’s special to be able to be here on this team, to help the club as much as I can,” Pepiot said. “To watch the superstars on this team do what they did today, it’s a lot of fun.”

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