It’s a grand night for Yasmani Grandal in LA Dodgers’ victory
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Obviously, that’s where it started,” he said. “Hitting-wise, offensively, it was a little different just because you’re trying to get yourself into a spot to be productive but at times you just can’t. Your body doesn’t allow you to do it. It takes some time.“Having surgery in the AC joint, I’ve talked to a lot of guys who had it. They say you have to be careful because once you’re coming back you feel like your bat speed isn’t there. You’re going to try to overdo things. You’re going to try to get bigger and swing harder. That’s the one thing you can’t do in this game. You can’t always swing 100 percent. I feel in the last month or so we’ve been working on letting the ball get deep, make sure your path to the ball is as straight as you can, not taking your eyes off the ball and – see the ball, hit the ball.”He saw the ball from Padres starter Andrew Cashner and hit it a long way – for a two-run home run in the first inning and a three-run home run in the third. His third home run came in the seventh inning against Padres reliever Jose Dominguez.Grandal acknowledged that the big game felt just a little better coming against the team that traded him to the Dodgers in December 2014. And he couldn’t help pointing out once again that he was not allowed to catch Cashner during the 2014 season as the Padres lost faith in his ability to be an every-day catcher.“Yeah, once you face your former teams – not only the Padres but the Reds too – you just feel a little amped up for them,” Grandal said. “It’s hard to explain. It’s not really the fact that they traded you. I’m glad that they traded me. I went to a division championship team the next year. I’m happy about that. I came to a legendary organization. For me it was a win-win situation.”Justin Turner and Howie Kendrick had no particular grudge against Cashner. But they also homered against him as the Dodgers scored eight times in the first three innings.It was not a good night for starting pitchers. Between them, Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir and Cashner threw 154 pitches while allowing 11 runs on 14 hits and six walks and retiring a total of 17 batters.Kazmir threw 34 pitches in the first inning alone and 85 just to get through three innings. His short outing wasn’t that short – it took 98 minutes for the two teams to complete the first three innings.“He just struggled from the outset,” Roberts said. “He was working behind a lot of hitters. But there was some soft contact throughout the game that they were finding some outfield grass. He just wasn’t sharp.”The Dodgers’ bullpen punched in for work early once again, handling the final six innings. Over the past nine games, the workload has been dead even – 43 innings from starters, 43 from the bullpen.“To eat up six innings of baseball is tough for any bullpen and you look at it being three days removed from playing 14 innings,” Roberts said. “All those guys – I can’t say enough about them.” LOS ANGELES — It must have been such a relief for Yasmani Grandal to get out of a crouch Friday night.When he wasn’t catching 177 pitches from six Dodgers pitchers, Grandal celebrated his brief interludes of standing erect by hitting three home runs – and bunting for a single against a defensive shift – and driving in six runs as the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres, 10-6.Grandal added another single in the eighth inning for a career-high five hits. His three-homer game was the second by a Dodger this season. Corey Seager went deep three times against the Atlanta Braves on June 3 at Dodger Stadium.He joins Mike Piazza and Roy Campanella as Dodgers catchers to hit three home runs in a game and becomes the first Dodgers catcher with five or more hits in a game since Paul LoDuca went 6 for 6 on May 28, 2001. Only two other catchers in baseball history have had five-hit games that included three home runs – Victor Martinez (July 16, 2004) and Walker Cooper (July 6, 1949).And the night started with Grandal batting .183 for the season.“That’s a tough one to explain,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Grandal’s big breakout.Grandal has no trouble explaining it. The shoulder surgery he had immediately following last season had long-lasting effects, limiting his off-season workout and leading to forearm issues this spring when he tried to make up for it.Only in the last month, Grandal said, has he felt his bat speed come back. He took solace in the hard contact that he started to produce.