Coming off their first three-game losing streak in months and their largest loss in even longer than that, the Dodgers appeared to care just a bit more Saturday night than Friday against the Padres in Dodger Stadium.
A pair of runs in the 1st inning put Los Angeles in front just two batters into the bottom of the inning, with Sean Manaea‘s struggles against the Dodgers continuing this season. They never looked back from there.
With the 12-1 win the Dodgers, now 91-41, sit 18 up in the NL West, 7 up in the National League overall and 6 up on the rest of baseball while the Padres are a half game up in the second Wild Card spot.
After sitting out his first game of the season to rest on Friday, Trea Turner returned to the lineup Saturday night and immediately cashed in second baseman Mookie Betts‘ leadoff triple against Manaea. Pulling an 88 mph slider to left, Turner sent out his first homer since Aug. 4 in San Francisco.
From there, the Dodgers sputtered temporarily as eight consecutive batters were retired between the 1st and 3rd, with Freddie Freeman ending the stretch after hitting second base with a single up the middle through the legs of Manaea. Not missing the opportunity to cash in the two-out single, Will Smith pulled a change down the left-field line and just over the glove of a leaping Manny Machado for a 3-0 lead.
For Manaea, it really just continued the Dodgers’ complete dominance against him this season. After allowing seven runs, six earned, on six hits and three walks across 4 1/3 innings back on April 24, Manaea gave up eight runs on 10 hits and a walk across 4 innings on Aug. 5.
This time out, it really didn’t get any better.
While Julio Urias started to cruise through the Padres’ lineup, Manaea found himself in trouble again in the 4th. Nearly stranding a leadoff single by Chris Taylor, Manaea gave up a two-out single to Austin Barnes that was crushed off the bat at 106.8 mph before Betts made it 6-0 with a career-high 33rd homer this season.
Right back out on the mound in the 5th after the Padres’ lineup faced just 9 pitches, Manaea’s day soon came to an end.
Allowing a leadoff walk to Freeman, Manaea was given a gift with a sinker well off the plate getting strike one against Justin Turner. As the Dodgers’ broadcast discussed said pitch, Justin went ahead and sent the ball to right center for the 8-0 lead.
Mercifully, that ended Manaea’s day at 4 1/3 innings with another eight runs allowed on nine hits and a walk to bring his season total to 25 runs, 24 earned in just 12 2/3 innings this season.
While Machado put the Padres on the board with a solo shot in the 6th to make it 8-1, the Dodgers went ahead and extended the lead again against Reiss Knehr.
A ground-rule double for Barnes and a walk to Betts put runners at first and second with one out. While Trea struck out, Freeman singled home one on his third hit of the game before Smith hit the fourth homer of the game to center for the 12-1 lead.
A triple by relief pitcher Hanser Alberto, a walk for Taylor and a hit by pitch for Trayce Thompson put the Padres at risk of giving up even more, but Miguel Vargas (bust) made his second out of the inning to finally end the frame and conclude the scoring.
On the mound for the Dodgers, Urias continued his stretch of starts allowing two or less earned runs. Since giving up five to the Cubs on July 10 in Los Angeles, Urias had allowed just six runs in 50 innings across his past eight starts. With another 6 innings and one run allowed, he continued that stretch with his ERA dropping down to 2.29 now to lead the National League.
While he opened the game with a walk and had runners on the corners with one out in the 3rd thanks to another leadoff walk, Urias put the Padres down in order on just 7 pitches in the 4th and then another 9 pitches in the 5th. Machado’s 6th-inning homer was just the second run Urias allowed in the game, with the three walks scattered around.
As Joe and Orel mentioned on a few occasions, Urias did not have his best stuff in the game and struck out just two batters, his lowest since finishing his first start of the season with zero. It didn’t really alter his pitch usage, with the four-seamer leading the way and complimented with a curve, but Urias did get just four Whiffs on 23 swings at the fastball. That’s a bit off his 24 Whiff% on the pitch, with the curve generating no misses on six swings against 23 pitches, but it clearly got the job done regardless.
Done after the 6 innings and 78 pitches, Urias gave way to Blake
Masters Treinen for his first appearance since April 14. He needed just five pitches to record a pair of ground outs and a line out, with Craig Kimbrel entering in the 8th to Frozen‘s “Let It Go” once again. That also went smoothly, as Kimbrel needed just 11 pitches for a ground out and two strikeouts.
It should be clear who took over the 9th in an 11-run game, as Alberto froze Josh Bell with a 68 mph “fastball” for his first career strikeout.
The Dodgers and Padres are set for Sunday Night Baseball again, hopefully with more Padre interviews the Dodgers can ruin as they did last time. Ryan Pepiot and Mike Clevinger will start the series finale before the face off again in … six days.