PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cody Bellinger saw a sea of blue behind him in right field and heard “M-V-P” chants throughout the night — in Philly.
Bellinger hit his 32nd and 33rd homers, Clayton Kershaw struck out seven in six innings and the major league-leading Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Philadelphia Phillies 16-2 on Monday night.
Bellinger passed reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich for the MLB lead in homers and entertained a large group of Dodgers fans who made the cross-country trip to Philly and nearly turned it into a home game for Los Angeles.
“It was pretty special,” Bellinger said. “We’re in Philadelphia. We shouldn’t have that many fans here. That was pretty cool.”
The vocal Dodgers faithful, sitting across several sections in the second deck in right field, taunted Bryce Harper by chanting “Over-rated!” and “Where is Harper?” after the slugger exited the game. They also were in Fenway Park cheering for the Dodgers over the weekend.
After arriving in Philadelphia around 4:30 in the morning following a 12-inning win at Boston, Los Angeles just needed a few innings to get going.
“It was more of a whatever attitude,” Bellinger said of the late arrival. “One of those days where you feel more relaxed.”
Kershaw (8-2) gave up one run and four hits and retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.
“Weird night for me stuff-wise, but we got the job done,” Kershaw said.
Philadelphia’s Zach Eflin (7-9) allowed seven runs and nine hits in six innings. After three relievers surrendered seven runs, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler made the call to his bench and brought in outfielder Roman Quinn with the bases loaded in the eighth.
Quinn retired Joc Pederson on a fly ball to left and allowed two runs in the ninth, though it would’ve been a clean inning if first baseman Rhys Hoskins ran to the bag after fielding Bellinger’s grounder.
The Phillies are 15-24 since a 33-22 start.
“When losing by significant margin, you just want to turn the page and get to tomorrow,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.
After Kershaw pitched out of a bases-loaded jam for the second time in three innings, the Dodgers scored six runs in the fourth.
Justin Turner started it with an RBI double. Max Muncy’s checked-swing, infield hit drove in another run. Enrique Hernandez had an RBI single. Austin Barnes’ suicide squeeze turned into a single because nobody was covering first base. Pederson’s infield hit deflected off Eflin and drove in another run. Barnes then stole home on a double steal with Pederson taking second to make it 6-1.
Bellinger clubbed solo shots in the fifth and sixth for his 11th career multi-homer game and fourth this season. Muncy followed Bellinger with a solo shot in the sixth. Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Yacksel Rios, who was ejected for hitting Turner with his next pitch.
Scott Kingery ripped a solo drive to left to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, snapping an 0-for-9 slump with his 12th homer.
Kershaw walked two batters in the first after walking only two batters in his previous three starts combined but Jay Bruce flied out to end the inning. Bruce struck out with the bases loaded in the third and Maikel Franco grounded out to end a 10-pitch at-bat.
“He just competes more than anybody I’ve ever seen,” Barnes said of Kershaw.
The Dodgers recalled RHP Casey Sadler and designated LHP Zac Rosscup for assignment.
Dodgers: INF/OF Chris Taylor was placed on the injured list with a fractured left forearm after being hit by a pitch Sunday against the Red Sox. Taylor led off in three of the previous four games. 1B/OF Matt Beaty was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Taylor’s roster spot.
RHP Walker Buehler (8-1, 3.46 ERA) starts for the Dodgers and RHP Vince Velasquez (2-5, 4.63) goes for the Phillies.