By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
Diana Collins took a spot facing home plate reading to throw out the ceremonious first pitch, with ball in hand she rounded her shoulders and like a Bugs Bunny character made several gestures and made shook off signs from her son Mookie who was catching. She then fired a perfect strike.
That how things got started as the Dodgers opened a three-series against Atlanta at Dodger Stadium.
Since the pitch the video has been seen around the World and has been the talk on several shows. Mookie’s “Bobble Head Night.”
After all the fun it was time to take care of business and that’s what Betts did. After a Max Muncy homer in the first and a Will Smith homer in the 2nd inning the former AL MVP ripped a 1-1 fastball over the fence in left during the third inning giving the “Men in Blue” a 3-0 lead over the Braves.
After rounding the bases he threw a kiss to mom sitting in a front row seat.
When the night ended the Dodgers had hit four homers including a two-run blast by Corey Seager and came away with a 5-3 win.
Julio Urias (15-3) making his 100th appearance went six strong innings giving up two runs and four hits while striking out seven. His 15 wins lead the Majors.
“This is my first season of doing so many innings I have never pitched so much before in my big-league career.” said Urias who has pitched 150-2/3 innings. ”Physically and mentally I feel good.”
The lefty drew praise from Skipper Dave Roberts. “I thought he was fantastic, I thought he held his stuff ,made good pitches they took a couple of good swings off him in the sixth, but I thought overall he gave us exactly what we needed,”
The following night Walker Buehler took the hill and nearly had the same results. The right hander went seven innings gave up two runs on four hits, walked three while striking out five. He threw 92 pitches 59 for strikes.
Blake Treinen pitched a scoreless 8th and got the win as Kenley Jansen pitched the nineth got the save his 30th of the year.
In the 4th trailing 2-0 Betts ripped a solo homer to left for his 19th of the season and second in two days.
In the seventh Chris Taylor knocked in AJ Pollock with a sac fly to tie it at 2-2.
In the 8th Seager lined a double to right center allowing Mookie to score his second run of the game and giving the Dodgers the lead for good.
You can tell players are feeding off his emotions,” said Roberts. “Big hit, big stolen base, big walk. When he’s doing things like that you know his body is feeling better. You look back about ten days ago you may not even think we would be having this conversation”
At press time the DODGERS are within one half game of the Giants.