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His support of Operation Mend is just one of Turner's contributions to the military community, with an annual golf classic to help support that mission. Additionally, Justin has annually championed AM 570's Veterans Day Radio-a-thon, which has benefited Paralyzed Veterans of America, as well as the Dream Center's Veteran's Program. Turner has also been instrumental in the Dream Center's programming for veterans and helped support the opening of their Women Veterans Program in 2018, which helps aid women with the difficult transition from military to civilian life. He also created a Military Monday program prior to the 2019 season, where through social media he solicits nominations and then selects a military family to receive an all-inclusive gameday experience at each Monday home game. Despite a pair of home runs from Corey Seager and one each from Will Smith and Chris Taylor, the Dodgers lost to the Rockies on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium, 7-6, suffering their first series loss of the year on a two-run homer by former Dodger Matt Kemp.
The Dodgers had been 11-0-3 in 14 previous series, one shy of the franchise record to start a season. They hadn't lost a series to the Rockies since 2018. They won the opener of this one on Friday night with a 10-6 comeback, but lost Saturday, 5-2, and have dropped consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 10-11. “You've got to hand it to the Rockies, they came and got after it,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “You could see their energy. We got beat the last two nights, that's going to happen. Off-day tomorrow and go to Arizona and we've got to play good baseball. I just like the way we're playing. We'll be fine.”
Kemp's homer in the eighth inning came off Caleb Ferguson, two innings after Taylor's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Dodgers a 6-5 lead. “I think the ball I hit was a ball,” said Kemp. “Just happy it got us the win.”
Ferguson has allowed home runs in each of his last three games. Roberts said he brought in Ferguson to face a series of right-handed hitters in part because other right-handed relievers (presumably Blake Treinen) were unavailable.
Although the Dodgers have the best record in baseball, all of those short starts last month by their inexperienced rotation seem to have taken a toll this month on a bullpen that has allowed runs in each of the last nine games with a 4.89 ERA. In this series alone, the Dodgers' bullpen allowed 10 runs in 11 innings. “I think there's some bad walks in there,” Roberts said. “There are some situations we could put guys away and we haven't done that. The overall sum, they've been very good. But they're not going to be perfect. I just want them to execute pitches, eliminate the walks and we're going to be fine.”
A half-inning before Taylor's shot, Garrett Hampson's RBI triple with two out in the sixth inning off Jake McGee broke a 5-5 tie. Kevin Pillar led off the inning against Dylan Floro with one of those bad walks Roberts mentioned.
Once again, one of the Dodgers' inexperienced starters had a short outing. Julio Urías -- competing with rookies Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin for the third starter role in the best-of-three first round of the postseason -- allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, the third time in the last four starts he hasn't completed five innings.
“It was another outing that was inconsistent with the pitches,” said Urías, who regressed from his six-inning, one-run previous start. “It was not the result I wanted today but I'll continue to work and focus. There's a lot of talent here and I'll accept whatever role I'm given.” After praising the starts of May and Gonsolin in the series, Roberts was less enthusiastic on Sunday. Another week, another slew of exciting big league callups for top prospects. From MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list alone, we saw the Pirates' Ke'Bryan Hayes, Miami's Jazz Chisholm, and the Yankees' Clarke Schmidt make their Major League debuts.
They join an ever-growing rookie class in 2020 that includes current and former Top 100 prospects, players on their team's Top 30 lists and those who were not ranked but are still making an impact.
Who turned in the best performance this past week, from Aug. 31-Sept. 6? Let's take a look.
1) Randy Arozarena, OF, Rays
Arozarena went 7-for-14 last week for a .500/.563/1.143 line over five games. He went deep three times, highlighted by a two-homer, three-hit game on Sunday. He drove in a pair in that game against the Marlins and added two RBIs and a homer against the Yankees last Wednesday. The Rays went 4-2 during the week and now have a 5 1/2-game lead over the Blue Jays atop the American League East. Keep looking for Arozarena -- who hit third in the Rays lineup on Sunday 2) Devin Williams, RHP, Brewers
What Williams has done this year has been absolutely insane, with the past week (4 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K) in line with what the reliever has done all season. He's given up one earned run on four hits over 17 innings (an opponents' batting average of .070), walking six and striking out 35. His other-worldly changeup is unhittable. Opponents are 0-for-39 with 26 strikeouts against what might be the best secondary offering in baseball right now.
3) Keegan Akin, LHP, Orioles (No. 15)
After scuffling in his big league relief debut in mid-August and a quick outing on Aug. 26, Akin is getting a chance to start and showing his stuff might work in the role. He gave up two unearned runs over 4 2/3 frames in his first start last Monday, then tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings on Saturday. For the week, that meant 9 2/3 innings with no earned runs, six hits allowed and 14 strikeouts. In 13 innings this summer, he's held hitters to a .174 batting average.
4) Joey Bart, C, Giants (No. 1/MLB No. 13)
Bart went 8-for-18 last week (.444/.500/.556), with a triple and three RBIs. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft hit in all four games he started and three of them were of the multi-hit variety, starting with a three-hit game last Tuesday. His work enabled him to raise his batting average over 100 points and he's now at .265/.345/.367 over 49 at-bats.
5) Willi Castro, SS/3B, Tigers
Castro hit in five of the six games he played last week and had four multi-hit performances. That led to a .400/.400/.640 line (10-for-25), including three extra-base hits (a double, triple and home run) to go along with six RBIs. The infielder is now hitting a robust .350/.355/.567 over 63 plate appearances in 2020.
6) Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates (No. 2/MLB No. 42)
Hayes made his big league debut on Sept. 1 one to remember, picking up a pair of hits, a double and a home run. He has a modest three-game hit streak going and went 4-for-7 over his last two games of the week to bring his line up to .389/.421/.722 (7-for-18) to start his career.
7) Triston McKenzie, RHP, Indians (No. 10)
Start No. 3 for the right-hander was much like his big league debut on Aug. 22 -- dominant. McKenzie went six innings, allowing three hits, no walks and no runs while striking out six for his second Major League victory. He's 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and a .151 opponents' average over three starts, striking out 19 and walking four in 16 innings.
Triston McKenzie's strong start
8) Andrés Giménez, SS/2B, Mets (No. 3/MLB No. 89)
Giménez continues to see time at three infield positions, including a lot of time at his natural position of shortstop, and he's starting to swing the bat with more authority. He went 7-for-17 this week including notching his first Major League home run. He also drove in six and stole a base. For the season, the 22-year-old has a .282/.329/.385 line and has gone a perfect seven-for-seven in stolen base attempts.
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