The Dodgers still have two days to beat Juan Soto’s winning streak.
In the meantime, they’re benefiting from the addition of another left-handed hitter to right field.
In Sunday’s impressive major league debut, starter James Outman had three hits and three RBIs, including a home run in his first at-bat to help the Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 7-3 at Coors Field.
The victory snapped the Dodgers’ (68-33) streak this weekend in Denver and matched an MLB-best 21-5 mark in July — the club’s most wins in the month and Hamley’s fourth-highest winning percentage. (.808) by any major league team since 1900.
On Sunday, Outman left his mark on team history.
The 25-year-old became the first Dodger since Mike Piazza in 1992 to hit three or more hits in his MLB debut, the only player in Los Angeles history to hit a triple and three RBIs in his first career game. To have three hits, three RBIs and a home run of any MLB team since Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers in 2015.
Oatman stood in front of the locker room afterward, a sheepish grin crossing his face when asked if he could think back to his first big league outing.
“Obviously, I dreamed about him playing wiffle ball in the backyard and stuff like that,” he said.
“I never thought it would become something,” he says with a laugh, “I’m still riding high, that’s for sure.
Amid weeks of trade rumors linking the Dodgers to the pursuit of superstars like Soto, Shohei Ohtani and others around the majors leading up to Tuesday’s trade deadline, Whitman’s call came out of the blue this weekend.
In the year A former seventh-round pick in 2018 and the club’s No. 17 prospect by MLB Pipeline, the outfielder began this season at Double A, seemingly behind several other youngsters in the organization’s talented farm system.
But after hitting 16 home runs with the club’s affiliate in Tulsa, he was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City a month ago.
In 22 games, the Redwood City native was batting just .225. However, with outfielder Zach McKinstry traded to the Chicago Cubs this weekend in place of reliever Chris Martin, Outman was named the only healthy outfielder left on the 40-man roster.
“He’s a guy we’ve had in camp the last two years,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We were hoping he would do enough to give us a chance to come back this year.”
Ottman got the news Friday night and landed in Denver Saturday afternoon, where eight family members, including his parents and fiancé, met.
Speaking to reporters for the first time on Saturday, he credited his sudden improvement to a “complete rebuild” of swings over the past three seasons.
“I came into pro ball swinging the bat like a caveman — it’s very stiff, not much,” he said. “You try to get it loose, get some length through the strike zone and it pays off.”
On Sunday, the new movement was on full display from the start.
In his first at-bat in the third inning, Outman sent Rockies starter German Marquez on a diving double down the middle and sent a two-run home run into the right field bullpen to become the eighth player in franchise history to go deep. His first job at Bat-Bat.
“To be honest, I don’t remember that 30 minutes after I got hit,” said Auman, who was shoved in the dirt by his teammates – including being hit in the face by Justin Turner’s water – and challenger Alex Vescia returned the favor. The ball over the fence.
“I put it in my childhood room next to all the other baseball stuff,” Outman added, adding that the ball already sits in a display case in the clubhouse. “I’ve got a shelf of all the little league home runs and stuff like that. This may be the best.”
After striking out in the fourth inning — which Oatman said calmed him down after the earlier adrenaline rush — he scored a leadoff single in the seventh, then scored on a double by Freddie Freeman.
Outman lined an RBI double to right in the eighth as the Dodgers gave up three runs in five innings to Tony Gonsoli, Cody Bellinger had a two-run double in the fourth and every member of the lineup reached base at least once.
“What a first,” Roberts said. “It’s fun to watch. You can just see his excitement.
It’s unclear how long Outman’s first MLB stint will last.
Turner (hamstring discomfort) probably won’t play again until Thursday, but he’s still not on the injured list.
Chris Taylor (fractured foot) is scheduled to begin a rehab stint this week with Oklahoma City that will last at least seven days.
The Dodgers could change their trade list Tuesday before Tuesday’s deadline, including the possibility of acquiring another bat that would force Outman back to the minors.
Roberts has yet to decide whether the rookie will return to the lineup in Monday’s series opener against the Giants in San Francisco — within 30 minutes of Outman’s hometown at a ballpark where he often went to games as a child.
“I don’t think anyone could have predicted that,” Roberts said. But we have a lot of guys coming through our system. Another one is James Outman.”
As Oatman ponders his path to the big league postseason, the long-haired slugger keeps his approach at the plate simple.
“I’m not trying to force things, to make things happen,” he said. “Most of the time I’m just trying to hit the ball as hard as I can.”
Then, answering one last question with another smile and laugh, the caveman remembered his comment from the day before.
“Yes,” he said. “I don’t have a caveman anymore.”