It had been a rough last 10 games for Yasiel Puig heading into Thursday’s matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies, the finale of the four-game series. Puig got in extra work with Los Angles Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire, roughly two hours prior to the team’s scheduled batting practice. It was the second time this week he and McGwire were fine-tuning the talented and learning outfielder’s swing.
After batting leadoff in Wednesday’s game, Puig was slotted sixth behind Andre Ethier on Thursday night. Puig’s early work paid off as he ripped a two-run double down the left field line in the fourth inning to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Then in the eighth with the Dodgers lead at 4-0, Puig clubbed a two-run home run off Elvis Araujo:
Not a prototypical home-run hitter, but certainly someone who carries a bat with some pop, the homer was just Puig’s fourth this season; it was his first since June 10 and second since being reinstated from the disabled list.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said earlier in the week he wasn’t concerned by Puig’s lack of home runs this season; he hit 16 last season and 19 as a rookie in 2013. Puig’s strength, Mattingly said is in driving balls into the gap. This season Puig has 10 doubles and two triples; He set career highs with 37 doubles and nine triples last year.