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Dodgers’ offense carries the day – and night – in doubleheader sweep of Diamondbacks

LOS ANGELES — Challenged by injuries and a schedule that will demand they play 31 games in 30 days, the Dodgers’ pitching staff could use a little help from their friends – you know, the ones with MVP trophies on their shelves at home and batting titles on their resumes.

They’re getting it now.

The Dodgers scored 19 runs in a doubleheader sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, exploding for five runs in the sixth inning to take the first game, 7-6, then scoring eight runs in the first two innings on their way to a 12-3 victory in the nightcap.

The double dip gives the Dodgers a four-game winning streak – spun on a dime from last week’s four-game losing streak.

“I think as an offense it doesn’t matter what stretch we’re in, we want to carry (the load),” Freddie Freeman said after driving in three runs with three doubles in the second game. “I guess it might be a little heightened because of the stretch we’re in. But as an offense, night in and night out, we’re just trying to score as many runs as we can.”

They’ve done that pretty well on this homestand, scoring 49 runs in seven games (double-digits twice) even as they lost the first three games to the Phillies.

“I don’t pay as much attention to it. But if you take a step back and look at it from your lens, I would say definitely. This is time for the offense to carry us through,” Mookie Betts agreed, when the pitching staff’s challenges were pointed out to him. “It is what it is. That’s why we have a really good team. We just have to do it.”

Betts has certainly been doing his part for a few weeks now. He was on base six times in Tuesday’s doubleheader, scored five runs and is batting .324 (24 for 74) with three doubles and six home runs in his past 18 games.

One of those home runs (his third in the past five games) came in the sixth inning of the first game Tuesday. Trea Turner and Justin Turner also homered in the inning as the Dodgers turned around an early 3-0 Diamondbacks lead.

The homer was Trea Turner’s first since April 16, and he has also heated up recently, going 14 for 39 (.359) over his past 10 games.

“It’s from Pitch One,” Freeman said. “The opposing starter is just on edge right when he toes the rubber. When you’ve got Mookie – an MVP, World Series champion, Silver Slugger – and he’s stepping in for Pitch One, you’ve got to be on it from Pitch One. To be mentally in it every single pitch is hard. It really is, as a pitcher to have to make a perfect pitch to every guy. When you’ve got a lineup like we do, that’s what you have to do against us and if you don’t we’re going to get you.”

The Diamondbacks’ Game 2 starter, Merrill Kelly, was in it from Pitch One, alright.

Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson gave up back-to-back home runs to Jordan Luplow and Christian Walker in the top of the first. But the Dodgers got that back quickly. Betts drew a leadoff walk, Freeman hit the first of his three doubles and Trea Turner drove them both in with a single.

Worse awaited Kelly in the second inning.

The Dodgers sent nine batters to the plate and scored six times, getting two on a double by Gavin Lux, one on another single by Trea Turner and three on a home run by Edwin Rios – batting cleanup for the first time in his big-league career.

The six-run second is the ninth time this season the Dodgers have scored five or more runs in a single inning.

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