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Bellinger drills two homers for Tulsa

Dodgers' top offensive prospect collects three hits, three RBIs in win
May 27, 2016

Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers' top offensive prospect, may be stringing bunches of hits together and showing his power, but success in the Texas League has hardly been effortless.

"I would never say it's easy. This is a tough league," he said. "Even when I first got here, I was making adjustments to my swing to hit this pitching, with the left on left and with hard righties coming in. I'm just adjusting every single game."

Bellinger went 3-for-4 with two homers Thursday, driving in all of Double-A Tulsa's runs in a 3-1 win over visiting Frisco. With the victory, the Drillers -- at .500 (23-23) -- completed a three-game sweep of the circuit-best RoughRiders (30-16).

"It's definitely fun. It's always good helping the team win, especially against a team like them," the 20-year-old third baseman said. "They have the best record in the league, so everybody's happy that we were able to come away with another win against them."'s No. 96 prospect overall, was in extended spring training rehabbing an inflamed left hip until April 30, and since then he's had multiple hits in six of his 26 games. On the other hand, he's also been held hitless 13 times.

"That's how baseball works," said Bellinger, who's batting .256/.362/.489. "A lot of times when you have those 0-fers, there are a few lineouts or hard-hit balls that don't find holes. You just have to get through those days and keep hitting the ball hard, and hopefully the hits will fall."

After seeing five pitches from No. 26 Rangers prospect Sam Wolff in a second-inning at-bat that resulted in a flyout to left field, Bellinger was ready to do some damage when he stepped in to start the fifth.

"Seeing a lot of pitches in the first at-bat is what you want to do, and he floated over the curve and the change, so I'd seen his stuff. The more pitches you see in the first at-bat, the better," the Arizona native said. "I was just sitting dead on a fastball, and luckily he gave it to me. It looked like the wind was going to carry it foul [in right field], but I was hoping it stayed fair and fortunately it did."

Facing Wolff the very next inning with the game tied, 1-1, one out and a runner on second, Bellinger was intent on being aggressive early in the count.

"That's exactly what I was thinking," he said. "Honestly, I just wanted to hit a single and get the run in. I wanted to stay up the middle. He threw me a good pitch to hit. I got a good swing on it and it backspun out of there."

The ball landed on the other side of the fence in right-center for Bellinger's sixth dinger of the year and his ninth extra-base hit. In the eighth, he lined a single to right off Adam Parks.

"It's tough getting three hits a game," he said. "When you're seeing the ball well, you've got to take advantage of it."

Preston Beck finished 4-for-4 and a home run shy of the cycle for the RoughRiders, which was not lost on the Drillers in the field when Beck settled for an infield single against reliever Scott Griggs in the ninth.

"It was definitely on our minds on defense," Bellinger said. "I don't know if it was on the pitcher's mind. I'm sure it was."

Tulsa starter Jeremy Kehrt allowed a run on six hits and a walk while striking out five over five innings. Caleb Dirks (2-2) yielded one hit and a walk while fanning three over two frames to pick up the win.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB.