After alternating wins and losses for their previous six games in a row, fortunately the Dodgers made it seven tonight against the Padres by taking a 4-2 win.
The Dodgers put up a crooked number in the 3rd, plating three thanks to some timely hitting and poor Padres defense. Enrique Hernandez got the rally going with a one-out double, and then with two down Matt Kemp (who else) came through with a single up the middle to drive in a run.
After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, yet another run came home on a Cody Bellinger grounder to short that led to an error.
Kenta Maeda‘s night started in a less than ideal way, as he allowed a sharp single to center and then a double that was lined into the corner in right, which gave the Padres a run. However, he rebounded in a big way, getting 16 of the next 19 batters out (including a double play). Nine of those outs came via the strikeout, and he allowed just a double, a single, and a walk the rest of the start. Maeda’s outing ended up lasting 5.2 innings before he was relieved by Scott Alexander.
Perhaps a bit of an odd choice, but ultimately understandable given that Alexander and Eric Hosmer resulted in exactly what you’d bet on it resulting in.
Scott Alexander against Eric Hosmer resulting in anything but a ground ball would've been shocking.
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 12, 2018
Daniel Hudson continued to be a trusted high-leverage reliever, and this time it cost the Dodgers a bit. While he was generally effective in the 7th, he also surrendered a solo homer to cut the lead to just one run at 3-2.
Aside from the three-run 3rd frame, the bats didn’t do much of anything in seven other innings. However, they got insurance in the 8th thanks to a Chase Utley two-out double and a Chris Taylor single to make it 4-2.
That left it to Dylan Floro in the 8th, and while he was primarily a grounder machine with the Reds at 91-93 mph, today he was elevating gas at 94-96 mph. The results will work, as he went 1-2-3 and got two strikeouts. Hm.
For the 9th, things fell to Kenley Jansen as usual. It definitely didn’t start ideal, as a four-pitch walk was issued to start, but he rebounded by inducing two ground outs and then got a routine fly ball to end it.
The victory means the Dodgers have gotten to 50 wins on the season, though it has taken a somewhat surprising 92 games to do it. Due to the Diamondbacks getting absolutely pasted by the Rockies tonight — Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila pitched 4.2 innings, seriously — the deficit in the NL West is down to a half game.
The Dodgers will go for the series win tomorrow in the finale of the four-game series against the Padres at 4:00 PM HST/7:00 PM PST/10:00 PM EST. Newly-dubbed All-Star Ross Stripling will take the bump, and he’ll square off against Tyson Ross.