LOS ANGELES — And then we come to the part where Cody Bellinger makes something easy look easy.
Or at least it looks that way every night in baseball, when a defense creates its own yawning hole and dares you to hit a ball through it.
Bellinger had Dodger teammates on first and third Tuesday night with one out in the sixth. It was tied, 0-0. In fact, the Angels had held the Dodgers scoreless for 14-1/3 innings, just after the Dodgers had held a week-long sprint-relay across home plate.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia lifted Jesse Chavez from the two-hitter he was pitching and went with lefty reliever Jose Alvarez, a by-the-book decision that would get kindled by the Dodgers. Bellinger slapped a single through the vacated shortstop position to bring in one run. Joc Pederson skied a home run over the center field fence to bring in three more.
The Dodgers didn’t score any more, but Kenta Maeda and Brandon Morrow finished off the five-hitter for a 4-0 win, with the next two Freeway Series games in Anaheim on Wednesday and Thursday.
And, again, you asked, how hard can this be?
“It’s not as easy as it looks,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Some guys don’t have the ability to manipulate the barrel. Cody does. I keep saying, every night it seems like he does something different to help us win.”
Bellinger understood exactly what he was doing. He knew anything to the left side would be a problem for the Angels, since Chase Utley was on third, and Bellinger has shown the ability to beat out medium-hit grounders.
“It’s a matter of being comfortable in my load,” he said. “Sometimes I get in a situation when I can load early and then just be pre-set. That’s what the situation called for.”
Freed from their miniature drought, the Dodgers did what they’ve been doing for weeks. They cleaned up the leftovers.
Pederson hit his fifth home run since he returned to the Dodgers on June 13. He was out with a concussion, administered in the outfield by…