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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Corey Seager keeps surpassing manager Dave Roberts' expectations. His latest multihomer game helped the Los Angeles Dodgers keep pace in the NL West.
Seager homered twice, Chase Utley and Yasmani Grandal also went deep and the Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-4 on Monday night.
"When you think that he can't do anymore, he continues to exceed that," Roberts said. "But still, even last week when he wasn't getting hits, he didn't waver as far as preparation and mindset. Every time he comes up to bat, something special can happen."
The Dodgers remain one game back of San Francisco in the division after the Giants beat the Miami Marlins 8-7 in 14 innings.
Seager has 21 homers, breaking Hanley Ramirez's record for homers by a Dodgers shortstop. He's also the eighth L.A. rookie with 20 or more homers in a season.
Seager hit a solo shot, Adrian Gonzalez smacked an RBI single, Joc Pederson drilled a two-run double and newcomer Rob Segedin had a sacrifice fly as the Dodgers built a 5-0 lead after one inning off Zach Eflin (3-5).
"I've never really had this much success hitting home runs, so it's new for me," Seager said. "I'm still learning how to answer it.
"Yeah, it's one of those things, you don't ever want to get too high, too low, kind of stay even-keeled. It's kind of how I have tried to look at it."
Julio Urias (2-2) started for the first time in nearly three weeks. He gave up five hits and three runs (one earned) in five innings in what will be his final start as a teenager — he turns 20 on Aug. 12.
J.P. Howell, Josh Fields, Pedro Baez and Josh Ravin held the Phillies to one run over the final four innings.
Eflin lasted three innings and gave up seven hits and seven runs, including three homers. Eflin has been roughed up in his last three starts, allowing 22 hits and 19 runs in 13 innings.
"I've faced Seager a lot in the minors and he's a good hitter," Eflin said. "On Seager's home run, it was supposed to be a two-seamer low and away but it came back over the plate and he nailed it.
"On Utley's homerun, I thought I threw a good pitch but it ended up in his hot zone."
Utley played against Philadelphia for the first time since his 13-year stint there ended in a trade to L.A. in Aug. 2015. He hit a 3-2 pitch over right-field wall in the second for his eighth homer, upping the lead to 6-0.
"It was cool, but you're still going out there trying to compete and win," Utley said. "Obviously, I know a lot of faces in that dugout, but the main goal is to win the game, and we did."
Philadelphia scored three times in the third to break a 22-inning scoreless streak at Dodger Stadium. Urias' throwing error to home plate with the bases loaded led to two runs. Cameron Rupp added an RBI single and Philadelphia cut the lead to 6-3.
Grandal drove his 17th homer 439 feet into the Phillies' bullpen for a 7-3 lead in the third. Tommy Joseph hit his 15th home run for Philadelphia in the eighth inning.
Lakers forward Metta World Peace threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Phillies: OF Peter Bourjos (right shoulder sprain), on the DL since July 27, will continue his rehab assignment for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He is expected to rejoin the Phillies when they open a homestand against the Colorado Rockies on Friday.
Dodgers: RHP Joe Blanton was placed on the bereavement list. He is expected back for Friday's game against the Pirates. Ravin was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... LHP Rich Hill (blister on left middle finger), on the DL since July 20, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. Roberts said he hopes to activate Hill to start Friday's game against the Pirates.
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (8-3, 3.33) faces the Dodgers on Tuesday. Philadelphia has lost his last four starts despite a 3.38 ERA.
Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (10-8, 3.22 ERA) pitches against Philadelphia. He hasn't walked a batter since July 17, a span of 17 2/3 innings.
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