SAN DIEGO – It was only a matter of time before Mookie Betts made his presence felt at the plate.
Despite his early offensive struggles, the Dodgers remained confident that Betts would break out in a big way. Manager Dave Roberts kept penciling in the star outfielder atop the lineup. Betts proved everyone right in emphatic fashion, launching his first two homers of the season in the Dodgers’ 6-1 win over the Padres on Friday night at Petco Park.
It is Betts’ 20th career multihomer game. He has 10 career homers against the Padres, all of them coming in a Dodgers uniform.
Betts got the Dodgers’ offense started with a leadoff homer in the fifth inning off Padres starter Nick Martinez. The former MVP unloaded on a 2-1 changeup, sending it to the second deck at Petco Park. It had an exit velocity of 104.8 mph and traveled 420 feet, according to Statcast. The homer came on Betts’ 46th at-bat of the season, the longest the star outfielder has had to wait to enjoy his first trot around the bases.
That swing was a welcome sight for the Dodgers, but it might be the one that helps Betts turn things around at the plate. Prior to that at-bat, it had been a struggle for Betts through the team’s first 12 games of the season.
He came into Friday’s game with a .178 batting average, the second-lowest among the team’s regulars behind only Max Muncy, who came in with a .128 clip. Muncy also homered on Friday.
In the ninth inning, Betts wasted no time to connect on his second homer. Betts launched Craig Stammen’s 90 mph sinker to the left-field bleachers. That 370-foot drive had an exit velocity of 100.7 mph.