Gonzalez homers twice to lift Dodgers over Phillies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Adrian Gonzalez is crushing baseballs again and the Los Angeles Dodgers are riding their veteran slugger up the standings.
Gonzalez hit two home runs and had five RBIs to help the Dodgers extend their lead in the NL West with a 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
Justin Turner also homered and Joc Pederson reached base four times for the first-place Dodgers, who moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants, who lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Los Angeles took over sole possession of the division lead for the first time since May 10.
''I just continue to do the things that are working,'' said Gonzalez, who had an epidural in early May to deal with back problems. ''When you feel good physically and you can take the right path, you just keep doing the things that are working - good base, be on your back side and then let your hands work.''
With the Dodgers trailing 1-0 in the fourth, Gonzalez lined a 3-1 fastball into the seats in right-center field for a three-run homer. Turner singled and Josh Reddick walked to lead off the inning.
Gonzalez followed that with a two-run homer in the seventh after Corey Seager led off the inning with a double.
It was the 34-year-old first baseman's first multi-homer game of the season and the 20th of his career. Gonzalez, who has 12 homers, extended his hitting streak to 10 games and is 18 for 40 in that span.
''With Adrian, I know his preparation,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ''I know he always has the ability to drive in a run. I think early on, he was a victim of trying to out-think things as far as beating the shift. There was a point about five weeks ago when he decided to get the head to the ball and pull the baseball in the air a little bit more.''
Turner hit his 22nd home run after Seager singled in the fifth, pushing the Dodgers ahead 5-1.
Scott Kazmir (10-6) allowed eight hits and two earned runs in five-plus innings to pick up his first win in four starts and improve his road record to 6-0. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and reliever Grant Dayton got out of another bases-loaded jam in the sixth after Kazmir allowed a leadoff homer to Tommy Joseph followed by three straight singles.
Kazmir admitted he didn't ''feel very good'' throughout his start but was pleased to see the lineup have his back.
''Finally I feel like the offense is catching up to the pitching staff,'' Turner said. ''It makes it fun to play when everybody's having good at-bats.''
Making the third start of his career, Jake Thompson (1-2) surrendered just one hit through the first three innings before allowing five runs, four hits and three walks over the next two to get chased after five.
''I think I was a little too fine, falling behind hitters,'' Thompson said. ''When you're facing a lineup like those guys have, that's not a very good place to be.''
UTLEY'S BIG WELCOME (AGAIN)
Chase Utley went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts in his second game back in Philadelphia since the Phillies traded him to the Dodgers last August. In his emotional return a night earlier, the Dodgers second baseman homered twice and received two curtain calls from the adoring Philly fans. Utley, a six-time All-Star who helped the Phillies win five straight NL East titles and the 2008 World Series, was greeted to another long standing ovation leading off Wednesday's game.
DOING IT WITH HIS GLOVE, TOO
Gonzalez made a diving catch to snag a line drive by Odubel Herrera in the first, before falling right on first base to complete a double play.
LOVING THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE
The Dodgers are 12-3 in their last 15 games at Citizens Bank Park. They have won five straight series in Philly.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola was transferred to the 60-day DL, ending his season. Out since Aug. 3 with a right elbow strain, the 23-year-old was 6-9 with a 4.78 ERA in 20 starts.
The Phillies announced Wednesday that Nola was replaced on the 40-man roster by RHP Frank Herrmann, while Elvis Araujo was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Herrmann made his first major league appearance since 2012, pitching a scoreless inning Wednesday.
Dodgers: The Dodgers plan to activate LHP Adam Liberatore (2-0, 1.62) on Friday. The reliever made his second rehab appearance Tuesday night, striking out two in a scoreless inning for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Phillies and Dodgers conclude their three-game series Thursday night with Philadelphia RHP Jerad Eickhoff (8-12, 3.82) opposing RHP Ross Stripling (3-4, 4.07).