Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
CHAVEZ RAVINE (CBSLA.com) — Thousands stood on their feet with a vigorous energy in the air as they witnessed a little bit of baseball history at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
On the 48th anniversary of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, Juan Uribe became the first third baseman in Dodger history to hit three home runs in a game as Los Angeles opened their homestand with an 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The early innings of Monday’s ball game perfectly embodied the 2013 season of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If the first inning represented April and May, the second and third innings manifested the exciting spirit of July and August.
Following a frustrating first inning — which saw Yasiel Puig stranded at third with no outs — the Dodgers, suddenly, began hitting everything they saw, jumping out to an early lead.
As had been the theme in the season’s beginning the Dodgers opened the game continuing a recent trend of failing to come through with runners in scoring position.
Puig opened the game for the Dodgers offensively by grounding a ball back to the pitcher’s mound and end up on third base.
Puig, batting out of the leadoff spot, grounded a ball back to Randall Delgado on the mound. Delgado loaded and threw to Paul Goldschmidt at first, but the throw was well off, and the ball ended up rolling slowly into right field. Seemingly without a second thought, the Wild Horse took off and rounded second, sliding safely into third. He was left there after a pair of strikeouts and a pop-up.
Luckily for the Dodgers, the second and third innings served as a reminder of the muscle of the LA lineup.
Ethier led off the inning with his 12th home run of the season — a shot to center that gave the Dodgers the first run of the ball game. The second came moments later when Uribe connected to send a ball into the corner of the left field pavilion — his first of the night.
Shortly after Hanley Ramirez, who knocked in both runs for the Dodgers on Sunday against the Reds, sent his 24th double of the season down the third base line, Adrian Gonzalez smacked his 20th home run into left, giving the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
Uribe, who has excelled this year after two troublesome seasons with the Dodgers, then stepped up to the plate and made a statement.
For the first time since 2010 in San Francisco, Juan Uribe recorded a multi-homer game when he dropped another long shot over the left field wall to give the Dodgers a five run lead.
He still wasn’t done.
In the fifth, Uribe went yard yet again — this time to center — for his third homer of the game and tenth of the season.
The Dodgers’ six home runs also accounts for the most by Los Angeles in a single ball game since 2006 when they hit seven on September 18.
But Uribe’s talent stretched beyond the plate.
Uribe made a number of spectacular grabs at third base, including snagging a laser shot out of the air to rob Aaron Hill of a base hit and bare-handing a slow roller by Adam Eaton to retire the inning.
The eighth RBI came courtesy of an infield single off (who else?) Uribe, as the crowd, Dodger great Shawn Green included, watched to see whether he might get No. 4.
The last time the Dodgers hit six home runs in a regulation game was on May 23, 2002, when Green, who caught the opening pitch of Monday’s game, hit four of them.
Meanwhile, Ricky Nolasco extended his career-high win streak to seven games in a row.
As an extra indication of the shifts in power of the NL West, the San Francisco Giants were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Monday night.
Seven of the Dodgers’ final 20 games are against Arizona, who posed the only threat to the National League West leaders over the second half of the summer.
Anniversary of Sandy Koufax pitching only perfect game in Dodger history (1965).