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By Jon Weisman
There was no grand slam, but three slams that were grand for Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal added a bunt single and a line-drive single, finishing the night with five hits and six RBI, becoming the third catcher in MLB history to have at least five hits in a game with three homers. The previous two: Walker Cooper of the Reds in 1940 and Victor Martinez of the Indians in 2004.
For good measure, Grandal also had a great throw to nail Wil Myers attempting to steal second base.
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"So there are many, many ways to spread the parsley around the fish, and Grandal knows every one." – Vin
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) July 9, 2016
All this despite taking a foul ball to the jaw midway through the game.
With two out in the bottom of the eighth, Grandal was in the on-deck circle, needing Yasiel Puig to reach base to have a shot at a fourth home run. Puig obliged with a walk. Batting right-handed for the first time tonight, Grandal hit a 1-2 cutter by Matt Thornton 106 mph, but on a line for a single.
Grandal now has 12 homers on the season — seven of them in his past 11 starts. The six RBI were two shy of his career high, set when he hit two three-run homers and two singles at Milwaukee on May 7 last year.
It’s the second year in a row that a Dodger has hit three homers in a game that Andrew Cashner started at Dodger Stadium. Cashner allowed three homers to Adrian Gonzalez on April 8, 2015 — he allowed two-thirds of Grandal’s trifecta tonight.
In between, Corey Seager had the Dodgers’ 20th all-time three-homer game, on June 3 this year.
With the support of fellow homer-hitters Justin Turner and Howie Kendrick, the 27-year-old Grandal carried the Dodgers on a night that Scott Kazmir needed 85 pitches to get through his three innings. The game was more than two hours old when the fifth inning began.
Pedro Baez threw a career-high 2 2/3 innings, giving him 6 2/3 shutout innings on the homestand, to help stop a Padres comeback.
On the first pitch he saw of his MLB career, newest Dodger outfielder Andrew Toles doubled.