LOS ANGELES — When is a home run not a home run? The Dodgers can count the ways this season.
In the first week of the season, the Dodgers had one home run taken away when Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner passed each other on the basepaths and nearly had another taken away when an outfielder brought the ball back into the field of play (Zach McKinstry legged that one out for an inside-the-park homer).
More recently, the Pirates’ Ke’Bryan Hayes hit one into the seats against the Dodgers but forgot to touch ’em all and was called out.
This time, a line drive by the Chicago Cubs’ Jason Heyward appeared to slice inside the left-field foul pole for a tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning on Saturday. But the home run call was overturned after a conference among the umpiring crew and a video replay review.
But Cody Bellinger left no doubt in the ninth inning. He rifled a 422-foot shot deep into the left-field pavilion for a walk-off home run that gave the Dodgers a 3-2 victory, their first walk-off win of the season.
The walk-off home run was only the second home run of a difficult season for Bellinger who has been on and off the injured list twice with leg injuries and was just 1 for 8 since returning earlier this week.
After five consecutive games of giving up first-inning runs, the Dodgers put some on the board instead, scoring twice on three consecutive hits – doubles by Mookie Betts and Max Muncy and a single by Justin Turner.
Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias also started strong, striking out four of the first six Cubs batters on his way to a career-high 12 strikeouts.
The rest of Urias’ day was more fraught with peril than his first two innings and he lasted only 5-1/3 innings.
Anthony Rizzo ambushed a first-pitch fastball in the fourth inning, blasting it 111.8 mph off the bat and into the right-rield pavilion. Heyward sliced a double to the opposite field to start the fifth inning, the third consecutive inning the Cubs put the leadoff man on base. And he scored when .180-hitter Ian Happ shot an RBI double down the right-field line to tie the game.
When Javier Baez singled with one out in the sixth, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts ended Urias’ day after 84 pitches.
With the score tied, lefty reliever Garrett Cleavinger survived that scare in the seventh inning when Heyward rifled a 1-and-2 pitch down the left field line and into the stands.
Third-base umpire D.J. Reyburn originally signaled fair ball, making it a tie-breaking home run. But the umpires gathered and emerged with a different consensus – foul ball. A replay review confirmed that ruling and the tie was back on.
After the quick burst by Betts, Muncy and Turner in the first inning, the Dodgers stranded six runners in the next three innings and squandered opportunities with Chris Taylor managing to get thrown out at third base twice – once in each direction (a caught stealing and a pick-off).
The bullpen turned in a stellar performance, though, allowing just two hits over 3-2/3 innings before Bellinger ended it.
More to come on this story.
BELLI WALK-OFF HOMER‼️
DODGERS BEAT THE CUBS! 😤 pic.twitter.com/Fwe3xYplT9
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 27, 2021
This post first appeared on ocregister.com