With Justin Turner back in the fold, full-strength Dodgers lineup clubs seven homers in record night

Jack Baer
Yahoo Sports Contributor

If nothing else, the modern Los Angeles Dodgers are famous for being unsinkable. They’ve won the NL West every year since 2013 despite seemingly inevitable drawbacks. Injuries have melted the lineup, rotation and bullpen, trade deadline additions have failed to work out and some players simply stopped being good. None of it mattered, because of the Dodgers’ gold-plated, steel-reinforced depth.

While that makes them frustrating for division rivals to catch even when they’re down, that depth also has a flip-side: the team can be truly terrifying during the fleeting moments it is operating at nearly full capacity.

Fans got a glimpse of such an instance of full torque on Thursday, when Justin Turner returned to the lineup after a disabled list stint with a groin strain. His return came a day after the Dodgers slotted in trade deadline acquisition Brian Dozier at second base, and a couple weeks after the team rented Manny Machado to make sure their left side of the infield was still filled with All-Stars.

With Turner and their trade additions in the fold, the Dodgers were able to field their most complete lineup of the season against the Brewers. Let’s just say the results worked out.

Even with the team’s lone All-Star hitter of 2018 in Matt Kemp on the bench, the team managed to blow out Milwaukee by a score of 21-5, their highest number of runs since moving to Los Angeles in a game that didn’t involve Coors Field.

Thanks to the D-backs’ loss to the Giants, the win also moved the Dodgers into outright first place in the NL West.

The Dodgers fielded their most complete lineup of 2018 on Thursday. It showed. (AP Photo)

The Dodgers’ record night on offense

Unlike the Nationals’ similarly comical blowout of the Mets, the Dodgers took a couple innings to get going. Joc Pederson homered in the first, but the team didn’t take the lead until the third inning, when a Cody Bellinger grand slam blew the doors open and gave the Dodgers a 6-1 win lead.

Yasiel Puig added a homer in the fourth, then Dozier in the fifth, Turner in the sixth to highlight his return, and then things just got silly. With the Dodgers leading 12-5 and the game not completely over, the Dodgers put together a nine-run inning to put away the Brewers away and reach the record book.

Dodgers overcoming a slow start

The Dodgers have dealt with injuries in the past, partially by bad luck and partially by design of acquiring injury-prone players, but 2018 represented a new peak for the team. Things got off to a brutal start when All-Star shortstop Corey Seager needed Tommy John surgery, and they just continued to deteriorate.

Injuries and under-performing players ate away at the lineup until its two biggest contributors were Kemp, the prodigal son acquired for the sole purpose of luxury tax relief, and Max Muncy, who signed with the team as a minor-league free agent last season. The team reached its nadir when it lost five straight to the Reds and Marlins to fall to 16-26.

Since then, the team has gone 45-23 and continued to solidify back into a World Series contender. Score one more for that depth, but with the NL West as competitive as ever, guarantees remain in short supply.

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