Part of Justin Turner getting off to a hot start this season and carrying the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup included an early power surge that was not typical for his career.
Turner batted .330/.409/.596 with seven doubles, six home runs and 20 RBI through the first month of the regular season. That surpassed the combined three career homers he had ever hit in games played during March and April.
However, Turner endured a recent slump and until Tuesday night, had not hit a home run since doing so against the New York Mets on Aug. 15. That came in his return to the lineup after sitting out the week’s worth of games leading up to it due to left groin discomfort.
Turner made up for lost time by slugging two home runs in the Dodgers’ 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a 12th career multi-homer game with the Dodgers and second this season.
“It was nice to hit some balls hard,” he said after the game. “I’ve been obviously scuffling a little bit and putting in the work. It was good to get some results. As far as the offense, it was nice putting up runs in five innings.
“We’ve done a good job winning games and scoring a bunch in one or two innings, but it felt like a really good job for nine innings. Putting pressure on them, getting guys out there and bringing them in almost every inning.”
Turner added he had been working on both mechanical changes and emerging from a slump that can surface during the course of the season. “Trying to get in a good position and have a good feeling in the box,” he said.
Turner appreciating watching Pujols
Turner’s pair of homers were overshadowed by Albert Pujols starting against his former team. Cardinals fans treated Pujols to a standing ovation before his first at-bat, which ended on a home run that drew more cheers.
“It was pretty surreal for him to come back, get the ovation and give the people what they wanted,” Turner said. “They want to see Albert hit a homer, and he didn’t waste any time. That was really cool. Just to see the big smile on his face coming back in the dugout was special.
“Obviously any time he hits a homer you’re watching history happen. For him to do it here in St. Louis is extra special. I know for Albert, spending the first 11 years of his career here, St. Louis has a special place in his heart.
“That was pretty cool, I think, for everyone in the stadium. Not just Albert.”
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