Chris Taylor pictured a lot of grand slams when he was a kid playing wiffle ball in his backyard.
His first major league homer was the real deal — a grand slam Friday that was a part of a big day in one of the Dodgers’ biggest offensive games of the season as they opened the post-break schedule with a 13-7 victory over Arizona at Chase Field.
“That’s something everybody always thinks of,” Taylor said of his slam. “I was just trying to do something, maybe just hit something up the middle. It was awesome. To have it happen in that fashion. It was a long time coming, but well worth the wait.”
Taylor tripled in two runs in the fourth inning, doubled and scored in the fifth and had his slam in the sixth for a 12-4 lead as the Dodgers had a season-high 18 hits. They have won four straight and nine of 12 while moving a season-high 12 games over .500.
The Dodgers have won five of seven games against the D-backs this season, five of the last six, and they will attempt to win the weekend series Saturday when right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who opened the season on the disabled list after 2015 Tommy John surgery, faces his former team for the first time. McCarthy had a rough victory against the San Diego Padres last week, giving up three runs in five innings.
Right-hander Archie Bradley gets the starting nod for the Diamondbacks, who have won three home series this season and are 15-33 at Chase Field. Bradley hasn’t won since June 19, going 0-2 with a 4.30 ERA since. He gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings against them in a loss June 14.
Taylor is the latest addition to a Dodgers team that has had a lot of moving parts because of injuries this season. Andre Ethier has been on the disabled list all season, Joc Pederson has been out for two weeks and Clayton Kershaw has missed two turns through the rotation and left-handed starters Alex Wood and Brett Anderson are on the DL now.
The Dodgers acquired Taylor for right-handed prospect Zach Lee on June 19 and promoted him to the majors on June 25. He has made four starts since, two at third base, one at shortstop and Friday night at second base.
“We’ve liked Chris,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Personally I’ve liked him from the other side. He’s a baseball player. He does a lot of things well. He can catch the baseball. He’s good on the team. And he can hit a gap. I knew it was in there, and I’m lucky to have him.”
“They had the third baseman back, and that’s always been a part of my game, regardless of the hits,” Taylor said. “You put me in that situation again, I’m going to try it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good angle on it. The pitcher made a nice play.”