HR Derby contestants headline Dodgers-Blue Jays matchup

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Mookie Betts will have his team behind him this time as he attempts to get a bit of revenge against Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

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Betts will lead the Los Angeles Dodgers into their first home game since July 8 when they play the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series and nine-game homestand on Monday night

In fact, the wait for a game at Los Angeles has been so long that in the interim, Betts lost to Guerrero in the first round of the July 10 Home Run Derby in Seattle. Guerrero went on to earn the home-run crown and the $1 million first prize.

Betts has long moved past his Derby disappointment, when he was defeated 26-11 by Guerrero in the first round. He played in the All-Star Game the next day, then led the Dodgers to three consecutive series victories against the Mets, Orioles and most recently the Rangers

The Dodgers enter Monday coming off an 8-4 defeat to Texas on Sunday, but Max Muncy hit a grand slam in the setback and Los Angeles scored 31 runs in the series, winning 16-3 on Saturday

“It was a great road trip,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Obviously, you want to finish it off with a win. Really proud of the way we played.

The Dodgers will send rookie right-hander Michael Grove (2-2, 6.40 ERA) to the mound on Monday. Grove, who has never faced the Blue Jays, is coming off consecutive wins for the first time in his young career, giving up one run over five innings on Tuesday at Baltimore

Grove had a bit of a breakthrough against the Orioles, using a cut fastball to deal with left-handed hitters, who have been giving him trouble.

The Blue Jays will counter with right-hander Jose Berrios (8-7, 3.39), who has a 1.47 ERA over his last three starts but does not have a win to show for his efforts. In his most recent outing, Wednesday against the San Diego Padres, Berrios gave up two runs over six innings while tying a season high with nine strikeouts

Berrios has faced the Dodgers once. In a start in 2017, he gave up four runs in four innings while taking the loss as a member of the Minnesota Twins

Toronto just avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners with a 4-3 victory on Sunday. Guerrero has continued his power show since the Derby with four home runs in nine games, including bombs in back-to-back games. Brandon Belt has also hit home runs the past two days.

Five of six games between the Mariners and Blue Jays this season have been decided by one run

“It’s a back-and-forth game with a lot of these guys, going back a couple of years now,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “It seems like that’s the way we match up. It seems like there’s always big moments, whether it’s relievers or starters pitching out of big jams and some big at-bats.”

Now comes a meeting with the Dodgers and a chance for the Blue Jays to end a five-game losing streak against the National League club. Los Angeles has also won nine of the last 10 meetings between the teams

The clubs last met at Los Angeles in 2019, with the Dodgers earning a three-game sweep, including one-run games in the last two contests

–Field Level Media

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