Will Smith homers twice as Dodgers complete sweep of Mets with rout


Monday wasn’t supposed to be an off day for the Dodgers.

Given the unexpectedly mild weather that passed over Citi Field that afternoon, it probably didn’t need to be either.

But, with (ultimately unfounded) rain showers threatening in the pregame forecast, the Dodgers’ Memorial Day matinee against the New York Mets was called off early.

Two days, three wins and 18 runs from a once-slumping lineup later, it’s hard to not see the rainout now as a blessing in disguise.

After arriving in New York this week with losses in five straight games, nine of their last 16 and a star-studded offense averaging just 3.5 runs per contest since May 10, the Dodgers left the Big Apple back on course Wednesday night.

They took both games of a Tuesday doubleheader. They completed a three-game series sweep with an 10-3 blowout Wednesday.

And, after enjoying an unplanned “work day” on Monday — when many of the team’s scuffling hitters stayed at the ballpark and hit in the batting cages even after the game was called — the Dodgers offense appeared to get back on track, exploding for 37 hits, seven home runs and the kind of top-to-bottom production that had recently been eluding their star-studded lineup.

“I think that [off day on Monday] was a good thing for us,” manager Dave Roberts said.

“A lot of us took that,” first baseman Freddie Freeman added, “and kind of ran with it.”

While there were some positive signs at the plate for the Dodgers on Tuesday — when they mounted a late comeback with 11 hits in Game 1 of their doubleheader, then tacked on 10 more hits in a Game 2 win — Wednesday was their first true offensive outburst in several weeks.

They amassed 16 hits, tied for third-most in a game this season.

They hit four home runs, one shy of the season-high they set on May 4.

Their 10 runs marked their first double-digit scoring effort in 13 games.

And, most of all, they weren’t overly reliant on any one part of a previously top-heavy batting order.

Star contributors like Will Smith (who had a double and two home runs, including a tiebreaking blast in the eighth inning that sparked a 7-0 run to end the game) and Shohei Ohtani (who ended a two-week slump with two hits, including his 14th homer of the season) were good.

But so too were bottom-of-the-lineup bats like Miguel Rojas (four hits and a RBI), Miguel Vargas (one hit, one walk and two RBIs) and Kiké Hernández and Jason Heyward (two hits each, including a home run from Heyward).

“There’s no surprise that, when the bottom is doing some things offensively, then we score runs,” Roberts said. “It’s just kind of the way it is.”

It resulted in the Dodgers’ best stretch of play since at least a four-game winning streak that ended last week, if not the 14-2 run they went on at the start of May.

Ever since then, they’d looked out-of-sync, low on confidence and unexpectedly lackluster at the plate.

But then, they took advantage of their day off, mounted an immediate team-wide turnaround at the plate and returned to Los Angeles with a once unlikely 3-3 record on this East Coast road trip.



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