Yasiel Puig of Los Angeles Dodgers hits sixth residence run in final 18 at-bats

LOS ANGELES — Yasiel Puig could not resolve which celebration match finest, so he mainly used all of them. He rubbed his fingers and flexed his biceps, clapped his arms and raised them to the sky, crossed his arms on his chest and introduced them to his helmet, all whereas rounding third base and heading residence to rejoice the game-winning, pinch-hit, three-run homer that keyed one other Los Angeles Dodgers triumph.

Puig’s residence run — with two on and one out within the backside of the seventh — ignited a 5-2 win and a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, pushing the Dodgers to a season-best 2½ video games forward within the Nationwide League West with solely 9 remaining within the season.

“This recreation, this sequence, was emblematic of our ballclub,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned, “of how many individuals had their arms on this sequence to assist win three video games.”

The Dodgers have gained seven of their previous eight, and Puig’s prowess on the plate has mirrored their dominance.

Puig was out of the beginning lineup these previous two nights as a result of his reverse splits made him a nasty matchup towards the Rockies’ left-handed starters. He then pinch-hit for Brian Dozier towards a right-handed reliever, Scott Oberg, and belted his sixth residence run in his previous 18 at-bats.

The latest homer happened 24 hours after his Encino, California, residence was burglarized on Tuesday night time, the fourth such reported occasion in a span of about 18 months.

“I did not sleep an excessive amount of yesterday,” Puig mentioned.

The 27-year-old outfielder halfheartedly mentioned that “every little thing’s OK,” however did not present a lot element concerning the state of affairs. Puig left Tuesday’s recreation early to take care of the matter. He mentioned he thought of making it again to Dodger Stadium earlier than Chris Taylor’s eventual 10th-inning walk-off homer, however there was an excessive amount of site visitors.

“My pilot’s not residence; he is on trip,” Puig joked. “I did not wish to drive again.”

“Clearly there’s been some issues with him, however with athletes, a variety of instances, after they get right here, that is their type of protected zone, the place they will type of get away, escape actuality,” Roberts mentioned. “There’s been so many guys for me in my three years which have actually grown. And Yasiel is correct on the prime of the listing. He was on the bench the complete recreation, watching the sport, watching the pitcher, getting down there, taking swings, preparing for a sure spot, and he was ready.”

Puig entered with an OPS towards righties that was 286 factors increased than his OPS towards lefties because the begin of 2017. However Rockies supervisor Bud Black elected to maintain Oberg within the recreation to pitch to Puig, despite the fact that first base was open and lefty Chris Rusin was warming up within the bullpen.

Oberg threw a second straight slider barely low and away, and Puig despatched it 420 ft away to left-center area for his second profession pinch-hit residence run.

“I did not attempt to hit a house run,” Puig mentioned. “I attempted to hit the ball within the air, do one thing to not hit a floor ball.”

Puig took it simple earlier than Wednesday’s recreation. He took some swings within the batting cage and watched a bit of little bit of video, however he wasn’t on the sector together with his teammates throughout customary pregame batting apply. It did not matter, as a result of Puig, a .400 hitter this month, is on one other stage proper now.

He was requested if he had ever skilled a stretch like this.

“In my home,” he mentioned, “enjoying video video games.”

The Dodgers won’t be going residence any time quickly.

Their lead is beginning to balloon, with FanGraphs giving them a 91.9 p.c probability to win the division. Their beginning rotation is as robust because it has been all 12 months, particularly with Walker Buehler, who allowed two unearned runs in six innings, trying like a professional co-ace. The again finish of their bullpen may be beginning to spherical into type round Kenley Jansen. And their lineup is persistently arising with well timed hits recently, none extra well timed than Puig’s.

“We’ll win the West,” Puig declared, “and go to the playoffs.”