Dodgers 7, Padres 4: De Leon impressive in debut as Puig & Grandal dinger

The rubber match between the Dodgers and Padres went back-and-forth early, but the Dodgers pulled away late and won the series after winning the game, 7-4. Jose De Leon‘s debut ended up showing all of his best attributes even if he wasn’t quite flawless, and while Yasmani Grandal continued his powerful season, it was Yasiel Puig‘s reemergence (1-for-2, homer, two walks) that really set this game off.

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Jose De Leon made a promising debut in the majors even if the results were technically mediocre. De Leon struck out nine, including the side in his final inning, walking no batters and giving up just six hits in six innings of work. However, he did give up four runs in his 86 pitches.

Two runs scored thanks to a moonshot homer from Yangervis Solarte to right, and (arguably) two more scored thanks to De Leon’s own throwing error on a bunt attempt. So while the debut itself was good, it could’ve been great had De Leon just not thrown a ball away.

Either way, the most important thing is that it gave us a nice taste of what was to come.

Offensively, the Dodgers got on the board in the third through another quick strike. With one down, Justin Turner walked and Adrian Gonzalez reached on a bunt single against the shift. Yasiel Puig responded by turning on an inside fastball and lining it over the left-field wall for a three-run homer.

At the time, that gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, but they surrendered that lead in the top of the fifth through the aforementioned issues with fielding a bunt, and ended up trailing 4-3. The Dodgers got right back, though, as JT and Puig both walked, and with one down back-to-back singles by Chase Utley and Yasmani Grandal drove in the walks to give the Dodgers the lead back at 5-4.

Grant Dayton pitched the seventh and made 24 pitches, walking a batter, but he did strikeout two in a scoreless frame to preserve the lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Puig walked with one out, and with two down Grandal bombed a ball down the left-field line just out of the reach of an outfielder for a homer to extend the lead to 7-4.

Joe Blanton then got a scoreless eighth, and while he did give up a single, he got out of it without damage thanks to a double play. Kenley Jansen then entered to get the save in the ninth, and after striking out the first batter, he gave up a single off the wall. Why was it a single? Because for some reason the batter tried to stretch it into a double and Joc Pederson threw him out by a bunch for the assist and the second out.

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After Kenley got the third out on a grounder, he secured his 41st save and got De Leon his first career win.

With the win, the Dodgers improve to 76-60 on the year and 44-27 at home. Even better, the Giants lost in 13 innings to the Cubs, which puts the Dodgers lead in the NL West at 3 games.

The Dodgers welcome the Diamondbacks to Dodger Stadium tomorrow night at 2:10 PM HST/5:10 PM PST/8:10 PM EST. The pitching matchup will be Kenta Maeda (3.38 ERA/3.72 FIP/3.98 DRA) against Zack Greinke (4.17 ERA/3.67 FIP/3.49 DRA).

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The Dodgers have topped three last-place teams for the most starting pitchers used this season.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times