Clayton Kershaw, flashing an ear-to-ear smile, his hair drenched from the sweat from his six innings and another milestone, joined his teammates prodding the rookie to absorb the love.
The latest installment in the catcher’s expanding catalog of dramatic home runs came in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 8-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
A day after supplying a go-ahead three-run home run in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies, Smith fist-pumped as he rounded first base.
He added a double in the eighth inning and has conjured memories from another rookie splash earlier this decade.
And yet he managed to limit San Diego to two runs and six hits as the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West ballooned to 16 games.
The Padres, specifically their young star shortstop, ran into outs at third base to spoil opportunities twice in the early innings.
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