The Dodgers slugged four homers off Carlos Rodon — two by Enrique Hernandez and one each from Corey Seager and Chris Taylor — and put it away with a four-run sixth inning against Chicago’s bullpen. At 31-4 they have the best 35-game stretch in the National League since the 1936 Giants. In the American League, the 1977 Royals had a 35-4 run. At 66-29 overall, they have the best franchise mark at this point in the season since the 1942 Brooklyn team went 67-28. They are 37 games above .500 for the first time since 1974.
The 2001 Mariners (68 wins) were the last team to win at least 66 of its first 95 games. The 1970 Reds (67 wins) were the last National League team to do so. Overall, the Dodgers are just the fourth NL team in the last 100 years to accomplish the feat.
“The confidence we have in our group that we’re going to win a game, is real,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “The talent in the room, the confidence we have, is real. Now it’s go out and do it. You can talk about it, but you have to go out and do it and, so, we’re doing it.”
The 11-game win streak is the Dodgers’ longest since 2006 and their second of at least 10 games this year. Seager, who had three RBIs, has 44 career homers at shortstop, the most at the position in Los Angeles history. Taylor, who led off the game with a home run, had three hits and went 7-for-9 in the two-game set.
Kenta Maeda (8-4), in his first start since July 7, allowed one run on a homer by Melky Cabrera in five innings. Maeda has been on the rotation bubble for more than a month, essentially pitching for his job each time, and Roberts wouldn’t commit to his next assignment.
“It’s something we’re going to talk about,” said Roberts, who is using a six-man rotation temporarily. “I know he’s earned that right. Where we slot him, I don’t know right now. He did everything he can to earn that opportunity.”
Moncada, called up in the wake of the Todd Frazier trade, went 0-for-2 with a walk. The White Sox have a six-game losing streak and are a season-low 16 games below .500 at 38-54.
“It was kind of a new debut for me in the Majors,” said Moncada, who initially came up as a September callup with Boston last year. “I made my debut last year but this one was special, it had kind of the same feeling for me.”
Rodon showed some rust in his first start in nine days. The All-Star break interrupted Rodon’s progress in returning from left biceps bursitis that kept him out for most of three months, with Wednesday being his first outing since July 9. Rodon — effectively the White Sox ace after the Jose Quintana trade — went 3 2/3 innings and allowed five runs.
“I thought it was going to be a pretty good one when I got out there,” Rodon said. “I was throwing it well, ball was coming out good. I wasn’t really missing down in the bullpen but that doesn’t matter when you’re throwing that well down there. It’s what happens in the game.”
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Seager Slug: The Dodgers had Rodon on the ropes in the fourth inning, as Hernandez’s second homer of the game pushed them ahead 3-1. Even after Alen Hanson threw out Yasiel Puig trying to score on Taylor’s single, Los Angeles wasn’t done. Seager took a 97.1 mph fastball 385 feet the other way for a two-run homer, according to Statcast™. Seager became the third left-handed hitter to ever homer off Rodon in the Majors, joining Robinson Cano and Charlie Blackmon. It was Rodon’s second consecutive outing in which he’d allowed a homer to a lefty, with Blackmon’s Statcast-projected 477-foot blast coming on July 9 in Denver. More >>
Swing away: The White Sox bunted themselves out of a rally Tuesday night and did it again Wednesday night. With runners on first and second and no outs in the second inning, Tim Anderson‘s bunt was fielded by Maeda, who threw to third base for one out, then Hernandez gunned a throw across the diamond to retire Anderson for a rally-killing double-play.
“We kind of relish the moment right now for [Moncada]. I think he should relish it. He’s being welcomed by a large city that is looking forward to having him for a long time and being a contributor to this organization so it’s a good thing. Once the dust settles a little bit, he’s getting his feet underneath him, he’s just playing the game of baseball.” — White Sox manager Rick Renteria, on Moncada’s debut
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Wednesday was the first rain-shortened game for the White Sox since a 2-1 loss in seven innings to Detroit on July 21, 2016. This was the Dodgers’ first rain-shortened game since a 6-1 win at Colorado on June 8, 2014.
Dodgers: Brandon McCarthy opens the series against the Braves with a 7:10 p.m. PT start Thursday night. He is coming off a 4 2/3 innings outing in Miami. Despite nagging injuries and an occasional relapse of the yips, six wins and an ERA of 3.38 indicate a pretty nice rebound from last year.
White Sox: The White Sox take Thursday off before heading to Kansas City to start a three-game series on Friday. James Shields will take the mound for the 7:15 p.m. CT first pitch, returning to the place he called home from 2013-14. Shields has seen his ERA jump from 1.62 to 5.10 since coming off his first career DL stint.
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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.
Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.