As he rolled to first base, Atlanta Braves infielder Dansby Swanson looked over his shoulder and saw Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Chris Taylor racing behind him.
That just gave Taylor a little bit more freedom.
The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor refuses to get carried away after five-homer game Read more
Taylor hit a three-run home run in the first inning, a solo shot in the third and a two-run drive in the fourth as the Dodgers completed their four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with a 6-5 victory on Friday night.
David Freese drove in two runs and Yasmani Grandal had a solo homer for the Dodgers, who completed a nine-game road trip at 5-2.
“I told a couple of guys in the dugout, I’m at that point where I can really tee off and just put the barrel of the bat in play and have fun,” Taylor said. “They’re allowing me to, and I’m really thankful.”
Taylor has hit five home runs in five games. That total already matches his total for the entire season last year.
Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda (6-2) had his fourth straight scoreless start since coming off the disabled list with a neck strain, allowing five hits in six innings. His last four starts have been six innings, two walks and seven strikeouts.
“That’s the sign of a mature guy,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I feel like he’s in a great place mentally.”
Freese entered leading the National League with five pinch hits, and made a nice one-hop throw to get Matt Kemp for the final out of the seventh.
“I have a lot of guys in my lineup who can do a lot of damage and contribute, and it just gives me a lot of confidence that when those guys come up, they can get the job done,” Taylor said.
Braves starter R.A. Dickey (3-6) allowed five runs in four innings, and has given up 15 runs in 14 1/3 innings in his last two starts. Dickey gave up two runs in the first and five in the fourth, including the three-run shot to Taylor.
Dickey said he doesn’t understand why he has had so many struggles since he had the most wins (15) in the NL last season.
“I’m not going to complain, because if I complained it would open the door for me to say: ‘I pitched a solid ballgame’ or whatever,” Dickey said. “I just need to go out there and start making better pitches and keeping those runners off the bases.”
The Dodgers, who trailed the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks by 10 games on 5 May, have jumped over them to move two games back in the NL West.