Diamondbacks’ Christian Walker continues his blistering offense at Dodger Stadium, hitting 2 more home runs

Diamondbacks’ Christian Walker continues his blistering offense at Dodger Stadium, hitting 2 more home runs

Diamondbacks’ Christian Walker continues his blistering offense at Dodger Stadium, hitting 2 more home runs

THE ANGELS – Christian Walker put on another power display at Dodger Stadium, lighting up the Arizona Diamondbacks in his first two at-bats with his 18th and 19th career home runs in 42 games at the stadium.

“He’s playing at an incredible level, at an All-Star level,” Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen said. “I hope Major League Baseball sees that and finds a way to put him on the (All-Star) team.”

As his teammates erupted, Walker crossed the plate with a placid expression that belied his astonishing performance. The Diamondbacks beat Los Angeles 9-3 on Thursday, taking two of three games against the NL West leaders.

“It’s Babe Ruth against us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Walker has homered in five straight games at the majors’ third-oldest stadium, tying him for the longest single-season streak at the park with teammate Joc Pederson, who did it in 2015 with Los Angeles.

“He won us the series,” Pederson said. “It’s amazing to see someone in person go on a run like that.”

Pederson and Walker faced off in the first inning with two outs off rookie Landon Knack, and Walker’s homer went 435 feet to center. After Pederson walked with two outs in the third, Walker followed with a 435-foot homer. Knack’s two-run homer to left on a 1-2 pitch gives Arizona a 4-0 lead in a 9-3 victory.

“I know enough about this game that I try to downplay this roller coaster,” Walker said. “I appreciate the good, but this game is tough every day, so I just try to be realistic with expectations.”

Walker hit five homers in the three-game series. He has 22 homers this season, nine against the Dodgers.

“What I feel at the plate is perhaps a slightly more moderate level of effort that helps make better decisions,” he said.

On Wednesday night, Walker hit two home runs and fell one triple shy of the cycle in a 12-4 victory.

“Christian is a self-made guy,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “He does everything he can to make sure his game is on point. He deserves what he gets.”

After leading off with two homers on Thursday, Walker drew his first intentional walk of the series with two outs in the fifth. He was retired on a broken-bat grounder in the seventh and walked on four pitches to load the bases in the ninth.

“He’s killed us at the last moment, his entire career,” Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said.

The 33-year-old first baseman is from Norristown, Pennsylvania, the same hometown as the late Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. Former Dodgers player Mike Piazza also hails from the area.

“The baseball community in that area is pretty small, obviously with Lasorda being the big name,” Walker said. “Just to be around them in the same conversation is an honor.”

He was drafted by the Dodgers in the 49th round in 2009, but did not sign and instead played for the University of South Carolina, where he helped the Gamecocks win the College World Series in 2010 and 2011.

Recalling who drafted him and what he’s been doing with the Dodgers lately, Walker said, “It’s kind of funny, like a full circle.”



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