Dodgers set NL homer mark for month at 57, beat Rangers 7-2

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager, left, is congratulated by Cody Bellinger, right, after a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Cody Bellinger and the Los Angeles Dodgers set the National League record for home runs in a month. Now they’ll keep pushing for the most series victories to start a season in the majors since 1969.

Bellinger’s two-run homer gave the Dodgers 57 long balls in August after solo shots from Corey Seager and Will Smith, and LA beat the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Sunday.

The 10th home run of the season for Bellinger topped Atlanta’s previous mark of 56 home runs in June 2019. The record came in the third inning of LA’s final game of August. The club is off Monday.

The Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors, bounced back from a series-opening loss to the fading Rangers with consecutive wins. They now have 12 straight series victories to start the season — tied for the fifth-best season-opening run since 1969.

The 1990 Cincinnati Reds have the record with 17 straight series wins to start the year. LA is among three teams next at 14, a mark the Dodgers reached in 1977 to match the 1970 Minnesota Twins. Baltimore made it a trio in 1997.

LA starter Tony Gonsolin surrendered his first run after beginning the season with 16 2/3 scoreless innings, but the right-hander still doesn’t have a win to show for his 0.51 ERA. Gonsolin came out after three innings, the third time in four starts he was pulled without going five.

Leody Taveras scored on a wild pitch to end the scoreless streak with no outs in the third. Gonsolin reloaded the bases with his third walk before getting three consecutive outs, capping his outing with his fifth strikeout on the 11th pitch to Todd Frazier.

Seager’s ninth homer went into the Texas bullpen in right-center in the first, while Smith’s fourth was a 439-foot shot into the second deck in left field off Kyle Gibson (1-4) in the second. The Texas right-hander gave up five runs in five innings with eight strikeouts.

Scott Alexander (2-0) was awarded the win after retiring all four batters he faced. The lefty and Dennis Smith combined to finish the game with 3 1/3 hitless innings.

Seager and Mookie Betts had two hits and two RBIs each, while Smith scored three runs.

FINALLY … MAYBE

The Rangers and Astros are finally supposed to get their Texas rivalry started in this pandemic-shortened season Tuesday in Houston. The lingering issue, though, is the postponement of Sunday’s game between visiting Oakland and the Astros.

The A’s had a person in their traveling party test positive for COVID-19, forcing the postponement. Oakland went to Houston after playing a four-game series at the Rangers.

“It’s definitely on our radar,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “The good thing is we have an off day and we weren’t going to leave until tomorrow anyway. So we have a little bit of time to sort through it and talk with MLB and see what the latest is.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts said the best-case scenario for Justin Turner’s return from a left hamstring strain would be Tuesday as the DH. The Dodgers are off Monday. Turner exited Friday’s game with the injury. … Roberts said RHP Walker Buehler came out “really well” from a bullpen session Saturday without covering his blister. Buehler is eligible to come off the injured list Thursday, and the Dodgers haven’t listed a probable starter for that game.

Rangers: Woodward said SS Elvis Andrus (lower back strain) would probably be activated from the injured list after Sunday’s game. … 2B Rougned Odor missed his sixth straight game with a right eye infection.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: LHP Alex Young (1-1, 4.70) ERA is scheduled for Tuesday’s opener of a three-game series against Arizona at home.

Rangers: RHP Jordan Lyles (1-3, 9.25) is set for Tuesday’s opener of the three-game series at Houston.

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