After the end of a nine-game winning streak, the Dodgers looked to start another one against the Padres, and did exactly that in a 5-2 victory.
AJ Pollock proved to be the star of the contest, not only knocking in two runs with a bases-loaded single, but making a remarkable play in left to rob a two-run homer.
The Dodgers have won a still-remarkable 14 of their last 16.
Julio Urias came off the IL after being hit on the calf in his last start, and he performed impressively and allayed any fears about the calf impacting his performance.
He looked dominant from the outset, retiring the first nine batters in a row on 42 pitches. The 4th started off with a walk, the first baserunner he allowed, but he rebounded with a strikeout. The next at-bat proved pivotal as Manny Machado ambushed a first-pitch curve, smashing it to deep left where Pollock was waiting. Well, after getting clowned on before for not even getting off the ground on a previous robbery attempt, he got way into the stands to rob a two-run homer from Machado and keep them off the board.
The 5th proved to be another key inning, as he gave up a one-out double and followed that with a walk. Urias rebounded with a ground out that left the runners cornered, and eventually escaped with the shutout intact by getting a harmless fly out to center.
Partially due to him coming off the IL, partially to deal with his workload, and partially to avoid letting him face the order for the third time, Urias was done after that: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 74 Pitches.
As you’ve already seen, the Dodgers did take the lead against the Padres, who went with a pen game. However, they didn’t do a whole lot of scoring … or anything for most of it.
Pierce Johnson started the game impressively, retiring the side in order with two strikeouts. Fortunately, Will Smith smashed his 19th homer of the season to leadoff the 2nd to make it 1-0. After a walk followed, Johnson exited the game.
Austin Adams took over and got three consecutive outs, and Angel Pagan got the next six in a row, including four strikeouts. Nabil Crismatt relieved him in the 5th and also got two strikeouts in his 1-2-3 inning of his own.
Daniel Camarena continued the reliever dominance in the 6th with another perfect frame, but the 7th didn’t go as smoothly. Justin Turner started the rally with a single on the first pitch he saw, and Corey Seager later doubled with one out to put a pair in scoring position, the first the Dodgers had in the game. Chris Taylor also jumped on the first pitch he saw, smashing a ball down the line in left, but Machado made a great diving stop to limit the damage to an infield single that loaded the bases.
Deadline acquisition Daniel Hudson was tasked with getting out of the mess and didn’t do that. He got behind 2-0 to Pollock and then AJ grounded a ball through the hole on the right side for a single and a 3-0 lead. Hudson did get two infield pops to end the inning, however.
Potential Attack On Titan character name guy Reiss Knehr pitched the 8th, being greeted by a Trea Turner double roped down the line in left. As Max Muncy walked, Trea stole third to corner the runners, and JT cashed that in with a sacrifice fly. Smith followed with a walk to put two on again, and Muncy made a great read on a ball in the dirt to take the extra base and move both runners up. Again the Dodgers took advantage, this time with Seager hitting a sac fly to deep center to make it 5-0, with Smith being thrown out trying to advance to third.
In relief for the Dodgers, Phil Bickford entered in the 6th to face the top of the Padres order and all he did was carve them with two foul outs and a strikeout to punctuate things. The 7th then belonged to Alex Vesia, who continued to dominate, getting the side in order on just seven pitches, including a strikeout.
The goal from there was basically to not use Blake Treinen somehow, but Corey Knebel began the 8th by walking a batter and giving up a two-run shot to Jurickson Profar to cut the lead to 5-2. Knebel did get the next two batters, but Treinen entered for the heart of the order. He issued back-to-back walks to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Machado to bring up the tying run in Jake Cronenworth, who he punched out to escape disaster.
Tim Hill cruised in the 9th for the Padres, getting three fly outs on eight pitches. That left things for Kenley Jansen to close for the Dodgers, and he did just that eventually. He started with a three-pitch strikeout, then got a weak groundout, but allowed a single to prevent the celebration and then lost an 11-pitch war for a walk to bring the tying run to the plate. However, he rebounded nicely with another three-pitch strikeout to end it.
The Dodgers improve to 79-47, a 102-win pace, but remain 2.5 games back of the Giants in the NL West.