Joc Pederson burns Dodgers with home run to put game out of reach vs D-backs

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages
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Former Dodger Joc Pederson has made a home for himself in the NL West. Outside of a season split between the Braves and Cubs, Pederson spent the first seven years of his career in LA and returned to the west in 2022 for a two-year stint with the Giants before heading down to Arizona.

Maybe it's the air in Phoenix, but Pederson's been hot for the Diamondbacks for his first 40+ games. Through Tuesday, he's hitting .321 with a .989 OPS, with six home runs and 16 RBI. Homer No. 6 and RBI Nos. 13-16 came on Tuesday night during the second of three games against his old club.

The Diamondbacks were up 4-3 going into the seventh, but Pederson stepped up to the plate with two men on to put a finer point on things. With an incredibly inconsistent presence on the mound for the Dodgers in Michael Grove, Pederson grabbed ahold of a pitch at the very bottom of the zone and sent it out to put Arizona up 7-3.

It proved to be a deficit the Dodgers couldn't make up, and the Diamondbacks kept LA from extending their win streak to five games.

Joc Pederson got revenge on Dodgers with a decisive three-run homer for his new club

Pederson was an All-Star with the Dodgers in 2015 and a World Series champion with them in 2020, batting .382 with a .991 OPS in the postseason, but his regular season performance had been on a downward slope for some time. The Dodgers let him walk in free agency, which seemed to leave him with some hurt feelings. He signed a one-year deal with the Cubs and underperformed, so he was traded to the Braves at the deadline.

Aside from Tuesday night's shot, Pederson's only hit one other home run off Dodgers' pitching: as a Brave in the 2021 NLCS, he hit one off of Max Scherzer that would prove to be decisive, as Atlanta took the game 5-4 to put them up 2-0 in the series.

Pederson also hit a single to make Tuesday a multi-hit night for him, while the Dodgers struggled to get their bats going against Brandon Pfaadt and the D-backs bullpen. LA's three runs were thanks to some great baserunning by Shohei Ohtani in the fourth, then an Ohtani RBI single and Will Smith RBI double in the sixth, before Pederson's decisive home run.

He rubbed it in with a bat flip and a very simple, "I like homers," in his postgame interview. Deep breaths, Dodgers fans.

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