LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers ended the month of May with a 19-7 record and their stellar play is bringing back memories of 2017.
That’s when they won a major league-best 104 games and advanced to their first World Series since 1988.
“Kind of clicking on all cylinders,” Corey Seager said. “You don’t have to be the guy. Everybody understands that.”
The Dodgers proved it Friday night.
Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, Seager and Enriquè Hernàndez homered, powering Los Angeles to a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of a series matching the National League’s best teams.
The West-leading Dodgers improved to a major league-best 23-7 at home and have won 11 of their last 15 at Chavez Ravine against the East-leading Phillies.
The Dodgers’ 39 victories lead the NL and they enter June 20 games over .500 for the first time since June 1978.
“If we get a few things tightened up, we’ll be even better,” said bench coach Bob Geren, who ran the team in place of manager Dave Roberts.
The Dodgers rapped out 12 hits while limiting the Phillies to five, two of which came in the ninth.
“Sucks to lose,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “At the same time we understand that in order for us to beat clubs like this we have to play our best baseball and we didn’t do that.”
Kenta Maeda (7-2) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings and won his fourth straight start and first over Philadelphia in his career. The right-hander struck out six and walked none.
Kenley Jansen earned his 17th save, striking out pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp in the ninth, the only batter he faced.
Muncy and Seager belted two-run shots and Pederson had a solo homer off Jake Arrieta (5-5), who gave up five runs and 10 hits in five innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked one in the ballpark where Arrieta pitched his first career no-hitter in 2015 with the Cubs.
“I had a chance to navigate through the lineup, pitch around some situations, just didn’t do a very good job,” Arrieta said. “Just wasn’t very sharp with the slider, change up or the curveball. They were able to eliminate too many pitches.”
Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen and Rhys Hoskins combined to go 2 for 12. Harper came in batting .346 in his previous 13 games.
Muncy’s 20th homer gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead and scored Pederson, who singled leading off the third.
McCutchen’s homer leading off the fourth made it 2-1.
The Phillies tied the game 2-all in the fifth on Arrieta’s RBI single.
Pederson led off the bottom of the fifth with his 17th homer, the first of four consecutive hits given up by Arrieta. Muncy followed with a single before he scored on Seager’s two-run shot that landed in the corner of the right field pavilion, making it 5-2.
Cody Bellinger followed with a single before Arrieta got three straight outs to end the inning.
Hernàndez extended the Dodgers’ lead to 6-2 with a solo homer on the first pitch from Juan Nicasio in the seventh.
Phillies: RHP Zach Eflin went on the IL with mid-back tightness and will miss his scheduled start Saturday. He’s not expected to be out long. … RHP Victor Arano (right elbow) is 2-3 months from returning after having his elbow scoped Tuesday.
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner (right hamstring tightness) missed his second straight game, although he worked out on the field during batting practice.
Roberts missed the game to attend his son’s high school graduation. Cole Roberts played shortstop and second base at private Santa Fe Christian School in Solana Beach, north of San Diego. He has committed to Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. The elder Roberts also celebrated his 47th birthday Friday.
Seager’s homer — his fifth in May after just two in the first two months of the season — was the shortest of the Dodgers’ four at 371 feet. That trailed Pederson (445), Hernàndez (432) and Muncy (394). “They all count,” Seager said. “I’m feeling better at the plate.”
FANS IN THE STANDS
The announced attendance of 54,307 was the largest regular-season crowd at Dodger Stadium since 2012 and the team’s sixth sellout of the season.
Phillies: They had yet to name a starter for Saturday night after putting RH Zach Eflin on the IL with mid-back tightness.
Dodgers: LH Clayton Kershaw (5-0, 3.46) will be facing Harper, who is 2 for 21 with 13 strikeouts against him.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports