Christian Walker homers again at Dodger Stadium, and then again in win over Dodgers

Jul 4, 2024, 7:12 PM | Updated: 10:49 pm

Christian Walker...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker celebrates after his two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Thursday, July 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

(AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

LOS ANGELES — It is becoming harder and harder to believe Christian Walker when he says his power overload at Dodger Stadium is just one of those weird baseball feats.

Especially when the very next time he swings his bat, the ball soars 435 feet. And then he hits another ball over the fence two innings later.

Walker homered at Chavez Ravine in the first inning of Thursday’s 9-3 win over the Dodgers, his fourth of the three-game series. The ball jumped 109.6 mph off his bat, a straight laser that landed halfway up the bleachers.

He came up again in the third and crushed a home run to left field. It took two plate appearances for him to earn his second straight multi-homer performance with dingers in three straight at-bats.

“I’ve seen him get hot like this before, but nothing quite like this,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s got a pure baseball swing, and he’s not missing the pitch he’s looking for. I know he clearly enjoys hitting in this environment, and he carried us. There’s probably no bigger fan of Christian Walker than me, because I know what he’s done to get to this point.”

The Dodgers intentionally walked him with first base open the next time he grabbed a bat.

The veteran’s home run count against the Dodgers in 2024 jumped to nine in nine games, seven in six games at Dodger Stadium.

Better yet, Walker has hit a home run in five straight games in Los Angeles, putting him in rare company historically:

Dodger Stadium opened in 1962, so he is the only visitor in their current ballpark with a power streak like this.

His career home run total at Dodger Stadium increased to 19 in only 42 games (45%).

“I have less for you than I did last night,” Walker joked on why he brings this level of power to L.A. “Just a crazy thing. Speechless.”

“I know enough about this game that you try to minimize the roller coaster, take the good, appreciate the good, but this game is difficult every day, so just trying to be realistic about expectations and trying to maintain the process and then hopefully good things keep happening,” Walker said of taking it in stride.

Walker first homer followed a Joc Pederson solo shot off Dodgers starter Landon Knack, the ninth instance Diamondbacks hitters have hit back-to-back home runs this year. It gave Arizona a 2-0 lead.

Knack walked Pederson with two outs in the third, and Walker punished him for it to go up 4-0.

“It’s incredible to see someone in person going on a run like that,” Pederson said. “It doesn’t happen often. He won us this series.”

Paul Goldschmidt, Jean Segura, Reggie Sanders and Tony Clark are the only Diamondbacks players to have hit multiple home runs in back-to-back games.

Walker’s latest blast was his 22nd of the season, well ahead of his pace last year (17 by July 4). He leads all Diamondbacks hitters with Ketel Marte second with 17.

He walked again in the ninth inning on four pitches, so he finished the game 2-for-3. He came around to score on a Gabriel Moreno double that blew the game open.

Moreno had three hits on Thursday and drove in two runs. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had a pair of RBIs, and the bullpen went six scoreless innings after starter Zac Gallen lasted four frames. Justin Martinez was particularly impactful with three shutout innings.

Arizona claimed two of three contests against Los Angeles after dropping the opener in walk-off fashion on Tuesday. The D-backs will face the Padres next starting Friday.

“Momentum is what we’re after right now,” Walker said. “We talked about it yesterday, bringing the same energy into San Diego, another good series coming up, challenge ahead of us. You build on it, you take it in stride, but definitely don’t take it for granted.”

For the series, Walker finished 6-for-13 with 10 RBIs. He also has multiple hits in five straight games.

The Diamondbacks are done at Dodger Stadium for the 2024 regular season. If enough goes right, perhaps they find themselves returning.

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