Dodgers 5, Padres 4: Mookie’s 3-run homer stands up behind Buehler, Kelly, Jansen

The Dodgers are off to a good start in their series against the Padres, taking home the first two games of the series after a narrow 5-4 victory.

Walker Buehler did his usual thing and it was a three-run homer from Mookie Betts in the 5th that proved to be the difference.

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Padres starter Chris Paddack has had a disappointing up-and-down year, and thankfully today wasn’t one of his best days.

After a decent start, the 3rd got off to a quick start behind a Cody Bellinger walk and Gavin Lux battling after getting two strikes and slicing a double down the line in left to score Bellinger. Buehler would then successfully sacrifice to advance him to third and Mookie would drive him home with a sacrifice of his own for a 2-0 line.

Speaking of Buehler, coming off his worst start of the year he was looking to rebound against another division rival.

After three scoreless innings, the 4th saw a one-out single by Manny Machado on a hanging slider followed by a one-out homer on a hanging slider by Fernando Tatis Jr. to quickly tie the game at 2-2. A double followed immediately but Buehler stranded the runner.

Thankfully, the Dodgers offense struck back quickly. In the 5th, Paddack got two quick outs to start, but then gave up a single to Lux. No problem as Buehler was next, but he proceeded to walk him, which ended his night. Craig Stammen entered in relief but provided none, seeing his first pitch to Mookie drilled just over the wall in left-center for a three-run homer and a 5-2 lead.

Stammen gave way to Tim Hill in the 7th, and Daniel Hudson got the 8th, both registering scoreless frames.

A Tense Close

The next threat against Buehler came in the 6th with Machado getting a lead-off double, but Buehler rebounded with a strikeout and two ground outs to end things. He had to the same in the 7th when Tommy Pham led off with a double, but he got a ground out, pop out, and line out to again escape.

Buehler wasn’t exactly at his best, but certainly did his job: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 96 Pitches.

Blake Treinen took over in the 8th and had a rare stinker, partially due to some bad luck. He started by hitting Adam Frazier on a 1-2 count, gave up a stolen base to Frazier, and Machado drove him in with a rolling single up the middle. Machado then stole second and Tatis came up with a bloop single of his own to left to score Machado and advance to second on the throw. After a ground out that advanced Tatis to third, his night was over after 20 pitches.

Joe Kelly was next up and Joseph was the one who showed up today, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat and keep things at 5-4.

Kenley Jansen entered for the save and had a nicely drama-free 9th frame, avoiding the middle of the lineup by getting a routine ground out, an infield pop, and a strikeout to end it.

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The Dodgers get to 90 wins tonight against 53 losses, but only manage to keep pace with the Giants in the NL West at 2.5 games.

They’ll go for the sweep at 10:10 AM HT/1:10 PM PT/4:10 PM ET with Max Scherzer facing Blake Snell.

About Chad Moriyama

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