Padres salvage finale of three-game series with Dodgers
SAN DIEGO — The most exciting series of the young baseball season, a three-day prizefight between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres that exceeded the sky-high expectations, ended Sunday the way the first two games went.
There was a fierce energy inside Petco Park. Emotions were expressed unfiltered. Suspense hung on almost every pitch. The difference Sunday was that the Padres, not the Dodgers, made the plays to ultimately squeak out a 5-2 win, avoid a sweep and snap the Dodgers’ eight-game winning streak.
“It felt like a playoff series,” Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor said. “Every game was close and high energy. The fans were into it. I expect all of our series against them are going to be similar to this.”
The three-run margin Sunday stemmed from a mistake in the eighth inning.
Padres take 5-2 lead after eight innings
Dodgers: Keone Kela now pitching for the Padres. Edwin Rios, hitting for Neuse, struck out swinging. Rios isn’t quite locked in this season, as he is now four for 26 this season. McKinstry singled to center. Betts popped to short. Seager grounded to first.
Padres: Muncy moves to second base. Rios goes to first base. Alexander still pitching. Profar grounded to short, but Seager pulled Rios off the bag with a wide throw, allowing Profar to reach safely. Cronenworth popped to short. And that brings on another double switch, as Dennis Santana comes in to pitch and Luke Raley goes in to left, replacing McKinstry. Tatis walked. First and second, one out. Machado flied to shallow left. Hosmer singled to center, scoring Profar, Tatis to third. Pham doubled to left, scoring two. Mateo flied to left.
Score after eight innings: Padres 5, Dodgers 2
Padres tie it up in the seventh against Brusdar Graterol
Dodgers: Craig Stammen now pitching for the Padres. Taylor struck out looking. Muncy fouled to the catcher. Pollock struck out swinging.
Padres: Brusdar Graterol, making his season debut after being activated off the IL today, now pitching for the Dodgers. Machado singled to left, for the third consecutive at-bat. With Hosmer batting, Machado took second on a passed ball. Hosmer doubled down the left-field line, scoring Machado. Pham struck out swinging. Mateo grounded to short, Hosmer to third. Caratini walked.
Trent Grisham hit for Stammen. That brought a double switch, as Zach McKinstry goes into left field, replacing Pollock and Scott Alexander replaces Graterol. And with a left-hander on the mound, Wil Myers comes in to pinch-hit for Grisham, who was hitting for Stammen. Got all that? There will be a quiz later. And after all of that, Myers grounded to second to end the inning.
Score after seven innings: Dodgers 2, Padres 2
Trevor Bauer gets emphatic strikeout to end sixth inning
Dodgers: Austin Adams now pitching for the Padres. Snell went five innings, giving up two runs, two hits and two walks while striking out seven. Seager struck out swinging. Turner struck out looking. Smith struck out swinging. Impressive inning by Adams. An insurance run or two would be nice.
Padres: Profar flied to left. Cronenworth, who homered last time up, flied to shallow left. Tatis Jr. struck out swinging, with Bauer pounding his own chest after striking him out. That could be it for Bauer, who has made 98 pitches.
Score after six innings: Dodgers 2, Padres 1
It’s still 2-1 Dodgers after five innings
Dodgers: Neuse struck out swinging. Bauer flied to center. Betts grounded to first.
Padres: Mateo popped to third. Caratini flied to right. Ha-Seong Kim, batting for Snell (what, is Kevin Cash managing the Padres?), struck out looking on a curve that was outside. Snell made 95 pitches in five innings, which is why he is out of the game. Bauer has made 86 pitches through five.
Score after five innings: Dodgers 2, Padres 1
Padres close gap to 2-1 on Jake Cronenworth’s home run
Dodgers: Taylor grounded to short. Muncy struck out swinging. Pollock grounded to third.
Padres: Cronenworth homered to right, making it 2-1 Dodgers. Tatis Jr. lined to third. Machado singled to left. With Machado running on the pitch, Hosmer grounded to short, Machado to second. Pham struck out swinging.
Score after four innings: Dodgers 2, Padres 1
Split crowd sees a 2-0 Dodgers lead going into the fourth inning
Dodgers: Trevor Bauer grounded to third. Betts walked. Seager struck out looking. Turner walked on six pitches. First and second, two out. Smith lined to first in a nine-pitch at-bat. Snell has made 67 pitches through three innings.
Padres: Victor Caratini grounded to the pitcher. Blake Snell struck out swinging. Profar flied to right. Bauer has made 44 pitches through three innings.
Score after three innings: Dodgers 2, Padres 0
Orel Hershiser’s snack of the day: Eggs, cheese, sausage and a muffin
Dodgers take 2-0 lead on Chris Taylor’s home run
Dodgers: Will Smith singled, and Chris Taylor followed with a mammoth home run to left-center. Isn’t this supposed to be a rivalry? Doesn’t the other team win occasionally in a rivalry? The home run must have angered Snell, because he struck out the next three batters (Max Muncy, AJ Pollock and Sheldon Neuse).
Padres: Manny Machado singled to left. Eric Hosmer grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Tommy Pham walked after falling behind 0-2. Jorge Mateo struck out swinging.
Score after two innings: Dodgers 2, Padres 0
On this day in 1958: First game in the Coliseum
Nothing doing in the first inning
Dodgers: Blake Snell pitching for the Padres. Mookie Betts hit a little nubber and was thrown out by the catcher. Corey Seager grounded to third. Justin Turner struck out looking.
Padres: Jurickson Profar struck out swinging. Guess he couldn’t quite reach the catcher’s glove with his swing. Jake Cronenworth struck out looking. Fernando Tatis Jr. flied to left.
Score after first inning: Dodgers 0, Padres 0.
Vin Scully began his Dodger career on this day in 1950
Dodgers put Gavin Lux on IL, activate Brusdar Graterol
SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers shuffled their roster a bit ahead of Sunday’s series finale against the Padres, placing second baseman Gavin Lux on the 10-day injured list with a right wrist injury, activating reliever Brusdar Graterol, recalling infielder Sheldon Neuse, and optioning left-hander Alex Vesia to the alternate training site.
Reliever Ashton Godeau was put on outright waivers to make room on the 40-man roster. He was then claimed by the Colorado Rockies.
Graterol, 22, began the season on the injured list for COVID-19-related reasons. He reported to spring training on time and was available for the duration, but was behind schedule. He spent the last month building up arm strength.
Lux’s stint on the injured list is retroactive to April 16. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he expects Lux to return when he’s eligible for activation April 26.
Lux hasn’t played since Wednesday. He was in Thursday’s lineup but was scratched just before first pitch. Roberts said the wrist injury affects Lux’s handling of the bat. Lux was on the field before Sunday’s game taking groundballs.
Neuse, 26, will start at second base Sunday. He was acquired from the Oakland Athletics as part of a trade for Adam Kolarek in February. He made his major league debut for the Athletics in 2019, appearing in 25 games. He batted .250 with a .599 OPS in 61 plate appearances.
Vesia was recalled Saturday to give the Dodgers a fresh arm in the bullpen after Friday’s 12-inning game, but he didn’t appear in the Dodgers’ win.
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Will Smith C
Chris Taylor CF
Max Muncy 1B
AJ Pollock LF
Sheldon Neuse 2B
Trevor Bauer P
Clayton Kershaw wins duel vs. Yu Darvish to lift Dodgers to eighth consecutive win
SAN DIEGO — The line drive was sinking, and sinking fast, maybe too fast in right-center field for Mookie Betts to slide his glove underneath the baseball before it grazed the grass.
But Betts’ instincts, perhaps unmatched in the world of baseball, took over. His jump was instant and his angle from center field was direct. He completed his pursuit with a dive just in time to have the ball off Tommy Pham’s bat land in the heel of his glove. He secured it with his right hand, rose to his knees, pounded his chest and howled up at the black sky.
“I just kind of blacked out,” Betts said after the 2-0 Dodgers victory. “I was in the moment, playing the game. I just knew that when the ball went up in the air I had to go catch it, and that’s what I did.”
Said Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw: “It’s just another reason why he’s the best.”
Mookie Betts makes spectacular diving catch to secure Dodgers’ 2-0 win over Padres
Mookie Betts makes an incredible diving catch on the final play of the game to secure the Dodgers’ eighth consecutive win in a 2-0 triumph over the San Diego Padres on Saturday at Petco Park.
The Dodgers improve to 13-2 on the season as the Padres fall to 8-6.
Justin Turner leads off ninth with home run to give Dodgers 2-0 lead
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner hit his team-leading fifth home run of the season off Padres reliever Emilio Pagan to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning.
Pagan retired the next three batters, striking out Max Muncy and Zach McKinstry to end the game into the bottom of the ninth.
Blake Treinen retires Padres in order to maintain Dodgers’ 1-0 lead
Blake Treinen retires the Padres in order in the eighth inning to maintain the Dodgers’ 1-0 lead going into the ninth.
The Dodgers tried to pad their lead in the top half of the inning, but Padres reliever Pierce Johnson kept them in check. Mookie Betts hit a two-out double into the left field corner, but was left stranded when Corey Seager took a called third strike.
End of eighth: Dodgers 1, Padres 0
Jimmy Nelson strikes out three in seventh for Dodgers
After giving up a leadoff walk, Jimmy Nelson continued the Dodgers’ dominant night on the mound by striking out Jake Cronenworth, Tommy Pham and Victor Caratini to end the inning.
In the top of the inning, Yu Darvish once again retired the Dodgers in order, striking out Chris Taylor and Zach McKinstry in the process. Pierce Johnson will take over on the mound for Darvish in the eighth. Darvish gave up just one hit and struck out nine over seven innings.
End of seventh: Dodgers 1, Padres 0
Clayton Kershaw and Dodgers get out of jam in sixth to keep lead
Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers get out of a jam in the sixth when Wil Myers grounded out into a double play to keep the Dodgers ahead 1-0 heading into the seventh.
After walking Trent Grisham to start the inning, Kershaw struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. for the third time tonight before giving up a single to Manny Machado. With the tying run at third, Kershaw’s final pitch of the game morphed into a inning-ending double play when it ricocheted off the mound in front of Kershaw and to Chris Taylor, who quickly tagged second before gunning out Wil Myers at first.
Kershaw gave up two hits and struck out eight over six excellent innings. Jimmy Nelson will take over in the seventh.
The version of Yu Darvish that was perfect through the first 4 2/3 innings of the game before a short sojourn into mediocrity returned in the sixth for the Padres.
Darvish retired the Dodgers in order, getting Corey Seager to ground out before striking out Justin Turner and Max Muncy.
End of sixth: Dodgers 1, Padres 0
Yu Darvish’s perfect game turns ugly quick as Dodgers take lead on bases-loaded walk
In four batters, Yu Darvish went from a perfect game to walking Clayton Kershaw with the bases loaded to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning.
The somewhat bizarre sequence of events started when Darvish hit Dodgers rookie Zach McKinstry with a pitch in the fifth to end his perfect run through 4 2/3 innings.
From there, Darvish gave up a single to Luke Raley to give the Dodgers their first hit of the game before walking Austin Barnes to load the bases. He then walked Clayton Kershaw on a full count (eight pitches) to plate McKinstry for the first run of the game.
Mookie Betts then popped out to end the inning.
In the bottom half, Kershaw retired the Padres in order, striking out Victor Caratini and Yu Darvish to give him seven strikeouts in the game.
End of fifth: Dodgers 1, Padres 0
Perfect game isn’t the only feat Yu Darvish is chasing tonight
SAN DIEGO — Yu Darvish, who started the game with four perfect innings, could reach a major personal milestone tonight.
A victory tonight would be the 186th of his career between Nippon Professional Baseball and the major leagues, which would be one more than the win total of Yoshinori Sato, who was the pitching coach for the Nippon-Ham Fighters when Darvish broke into the team as an 18-year-old phenom.
Darvish mentioned on his blog that he moved into a tie with Sato, a former NPB All-Star, after he earned his first win of the season on Monday in Pittsburgh.
“The win yesterday appeared to be the 165th of my career, I tied the total of Mr. Yoshinori Sato, who took care of me after I turned professional.
“Starting at around 100 wins, I couldn’t remember my win total, so I frequently checked Wikipedia. (Laugh)
“I was counting the number of victories I needed to catch Mr. Sato. (Peace sign, laugh)
“At the time I joined the team, I was cocky and unfocused, but he never forced anything on me and was a very kind person.
“However, there was a time he got really, really mad at me for running with a plastic bottle in my back pocket. (Laugh)
“When Mr. Sato found out I could hold my liquor, he was like, ‘I’ll be the judge of that,’ and he and (Fighters minor league pitching coach Kazuyuki) Atsuzawa took me to a Kappou restaurant in Hokkaido that was near the team dormitories, and I remember we drank a lot.
“In the end, Mr. Sato got completely trashed and the dinner party was over.
“Anyways, I have a lot of good memories.
“Recently, I’ve thought a lot about how I’d like him to watch my bullpen sessions again.
“I’d like to win next time also and pass Mr. Sato.”
Clayton Kershaw gets into shouting match with Padres’ Jurickson Profar
Last night’s 12-inning game was not short on drama, and tonight is no different.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and San Diego’s Jurickson Profar got into a shouting match while umpires reviewed when Austin Barnes interfered on a called third-strike that appeared to end the fourth inning. Profar was given first after video replay confirmed the interference, but the episode raised the tension level between the two teams briefly.
On the next at-bat, Kershaw got Jake Cronenworth to pop out to center to end the inning.
Not to be overshadowed: San Diego Padres starter Yu Darvish continues to frustrate Dodgers hitters and the veteran pitcher is perfect through four innings.
End of fourth: Dodgers 0, Padres 0
Clayton Kershaw strikes out Fernando Tatis Jr. for second time in third
The “Beat L.A.” chant was echoing through Petco Park sporadically during the third inning, but it had no effect on Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw gave up the first hit of the game on single by Trent Grisham, but it didn’t matter much after Kershaw struck out Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. to end the inning. Kershaw also struck out Tatis in the first inning.
Yu Darvish continues to frustrate Dodgers batters. The former Dodgers starter retired Luke Raley, Austin Barnes and Clayton Kershaw in order to remain perfect through three innings.
End of third: Dodgers 0, Padres 0
David Price is rolling with role changes
SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers broke spring training with a twist in their starting rotation: David Price, a former Cy Young Award, would not begin the season as a starter. Instead, the plan was to use him as a long reliever, pitching a few innings every few days out of the bullpen.
It took two weeks to modify his role again.
Price appeared in just two of the Dodgers’ first 11 games and struggled in his first tests as a full-time reliever, giving up five runs in 3 2/3 innings. He then went eight days between his second and third outings primarily because Dodgers starters were pitching deeper into games and, as a result, didn’t give any opportunities for long relief.
The Dodgers then made an adjustment. Entering Saturday, he pitched three times over the previous four days. He earned his first career regular-season save Thursday. On Friday, he pitched on back-to-back days for just the third time in his career and delivered two scoreless innings to end the Dodgers’ 12-inning win over the Padres.
“We didn’t get a chance to use him as often or find those runways for that three, four-inning stint,” Roberts said. “So, we talked and trying to find spots in shorter stints and that’s what we’ve done and he’s responded really well. So I think that right now, that’s kind of how I see him, as a one-plus guy.”
The 35-year-old Price wasn’t supposed to pitch Friday, but Dodgers bullpen coach Josh Bard told him in the eighth inning that he might be needed if the game went to extras.
He entered in the 11th inning and needed just 18 pitches for his six outs. He struck out four, walked one and didn’t give up a hit. At the plate, he recorded a sacrifice fly off Padres infielder Jake Cronenworth.
After the game, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner said his arm felt fine and he expected to bounce back without a problem Saturday though he wouldn’t be available.
“Still working on a routine but it’s getting better day by day,” Price said. “Just kind of getting into that rhythm out there on the mound because I’m not throwing any bullpens like I normally would so just getting better appearance after appearance.”
The Dodgers entered the season with effectively three long relievers — Price, Tony Gonsolin and Jimmy Nelson. Roberts said managing the bullpen would be like “threading a needle.” Less than three weeks into the season, Gonsolin is on the injured list while Price is being deployed for shorter stints and taking the adjustments in stride.
“I think it speaks more to the quality of the human than the baseball player,” Dodgers starter Walker Buehler said. “But to have the success that he’s had and go into the bullpen and be the same guy every day, it’s tough to do. It’s been cool to watch, and obviously we’re happy to have him.”
Clayton Kershaw still locked in pitching duel with Yu Darvish
Clayton Kershaw wasn’t quite as efficient in the second as he was in the first, but he still looks locked-in during his fourth start of 2021.
After walking Wil Myers, Kershaw struck out Jurickson Profar and got Jake Cronenworth to pop out to right field before striking out Tommy Pham to end the inning.
In the top half of the inning, Max Muncy grounded out to third before Yu Darvish struck out Chris Taylor and Zach McKinstry for six straight outs.
End of second: Dodgers 0, Padres 0
Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish off to strong starts
Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.89 ERA) looking sharp so far. After getting Trent Grisham to ground out, the Dodgers pitcher strikes out Fernando Tatis Jr. and gets Manny Machado to pop out to end the inning.
San Diego Padres starter Yu Darvish (1-0, 3.06 ERA) retires the Dodgers in order, striking out Mookie Betts and Justin Turner while getting Corey Seager to ground out.
End of first: Dodgers 0, Padres 0
Yu Darvish might not be an inspiration to Hideki Matsuyama, but pitcher is impressed by Masters champion
SAN DIEGO — Yu Darvish was puzzled. Why did Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama mention him as a source of inspiration?
Well, there was a simple explanation behind the curious quote: Matsuyama never said it.
The misunderstanding came courtesy of Matsuyama’s longtime assistant and interpreter, Bob Turner, who said “Sometimes my words don’t match up exactly.”
Sometimes — oftentimes, actually — they didn’t match up at all.
The point here isn’t to make fun of the 68-year-old Turner as much as it is to demonstrate what could go wrong in games of telephone in which messages crisscross languages.
In the news conference following his victory at Augusta National on Sunday, Matsuyama was asked in English, “Hideki, if you end up being an inspiration to younger Japanese golfers now, are there athletes from your country who inspired you, maybe ones that had come to America or ... where did your inspiration come from?”
Turner mumbled something to Matsuyama. Based on how he answered the question, Matsuyama seemed to think he was being asked if there were any other Japanese golfers competing in the U.S. who inspire the next generation of Japanese golfers to test themselves here.
Hideki Matsuyama takes part in the Masters trophy ceremony after winning at Augusta National on Sunday.
“In baseball right now, there are players like Darvish, Kenta Maeda and Ohtani,” Matsuyama said in Japanese. “There are many people in baseball. But in golf, it’s just me. Naturally, it will probably be me. But if I can continue to perform well and deliver that news to Japan, I think there will be more people who will strive for me and come over.”
Which Turner translated into English: “You know, the people that I admired were mainly baseball players. Darvish, Ohtani, Maeda. As far as golf, not so much. Hopefully, others will, like you said, be inspired for what happened here today and follow in my footsteps.”
A day later, after Darvish defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates to earn his first win of the season, the Padres right-hander was asked about what Matsuyama was purported to have said.
“In off-baseball question, if I may,” a radio reporter from San Diego asked, “Hideki Matsuyama has said that there are three athletes that inspired him: Kenta Maeda, Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish. What does that mean to you and how much did yesterday’s Masters win mean to you?”
Darvish understands English, but replies in Japanese, relying on an interpreter to convey what he says.
“I’ve never met him, I think,” Darvish said in Japanese. “I don’t really understand why he mentioned me.”
Turning serious again, he said, “But, really, he did something spectacular. I want to congratulate him.”
Brusdar Graterol expected to come off injured list Sunday
SAN DIEGO — Brusdar Graterol joined the Dodgers on Friday officially as part of their five-man taxi squad, with his activation from the injured list imminent. The team then used six relievers, making his activation Saturday seemingly obvious.
But the Dodgers decided to go another route, recalling left-hander Alex Vesia and pushing Graterol’s activation to Sunday.
“He’ll be ready to go tomorrow,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Graterol began on the season on the injured list for COVID-19-related reasons. The right-hander reported to spring training on time and stayed active, but arrived behind schedule. He’s spent the last month building arm strength in Arizona. He checked the final box this week when he pitched in two games in three days,
The Dodgers acquired the 22-year-old reliever last February from the Minnesota Twins as part of a package for Kenta Maeda. He arrived with health questions — the Boston Red Sox were originally going to acquire him days earlier but nixed the deal after his physical — but Graterol stayed healthy and became an important piece in the Dodgers’ bullpen en route to their championship.
The Venezuelan was charged with nine runs, eight earned, in 23 1/3 innings over 23 appearances during the regular season. He then held opponents to three runs across 7 2/3 innings in the playoffs.
AJ Pollock, Gavin Lux not in starting lineup again
SAN DIEGO — Outfielder AJ Pollock and second baseman Gavin Lux are progressing from their respective minor injuries, but they won’t be in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Saturday against the Padres.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Pollock, who injured his left groin Thursday, is available in any capacity Saturday and is expected to start Sunday.
Lux seems further behind as he deals with right wrist soreness that has kept him off the field since Wednesday . Roberts said Lux is “70%.”
“We’ll just see where he’s at tomorrow,” Roberts said.
Mookie Betts will make his third start of the season in center field as the Dodgers continue without Cody Bellinger.
Chris Taylor has started the majority of games in center field since Bellinger landed on the injured list with a calf injury. A recent test showed Bellinger has a hairline fracture in his left fibula, pushing his return back at least a week.
Clayton Kershaw will take the mound opposite Yu Darvish, a friend of Kershaw’s and a former Dodger.
Mookie Betts CF
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Max Muncy 1B
Chris Taylor 2B
Zach McKinstry RF
Luke Raley LF
Austin Barnes C
Clayton Kershaw P
Yu Darvish knows why he didn’t hear from Clayton Kershaw during the offseason
SAN DIEGO — Shortly after he was traded to the San Diego Padres this winter, Yu Darvish joked that he hadn’t heard from Clayton Kershaw.
Which was unusual.
Kershaw and Darvish were Dodgers teammates for three months in the 2017 season, which ended in a World Series loss to the sign-stealing Houston Astros. They remained in touch even after Darvish signed with the Chicago Cubs, working out together in the Dallas area, where they both make their offseason homes.
Kershaw will start for the Dodgers tonight in the second game of their series against the Padres.
Darvish will pitch opposite him.
Asked earlier this week if he ever heard from Kershaw over the winter, Darvish smiled.
“Since I moved to the Padres, he hasn’t sent me a single message,” Darvish said in Japanese.
Darvish attributed the absence of communication to his move to a rival team.
“That made me think Kershaw is really a professional,” he said.
Darvish said he was looking forward to facing his old friend.
“More than anything, I’m looking forward to seeing Kershaw’s pitches from the batter’s box,” Darvish said. “I wonder how nasty his pitches will be. I’ve played catch with him before, but I’m really looking forward to that.”
Dodgers option Matt Beaty, recall Alex Vesia for fresh bullpen arm
SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers used six relievers in their 12-inning win in Friday’s series opener against the Padres, forcing them to make a move Saturday to add a fresh arm to the bullpen.
The club could’ve decided to recall Brusdar Graterol, but manager Dave Roberts said the team will wait until Sunday for that move. Instead, the team recalled left-hander Alex Vesia from the alternate training site and optioned infielder/outfielder Matt Beaty, giving the roster 14 pitchers for at least one night.
Beaty started the season 1 for 11. He played in 10 games, but made just one start and was mainly used as a pinch-hitter.
The 27-year-old Beaty was a surprise contributor as a rookie in 2019. He batted .265 with nine home runs, a .775 OPS, and a knack for clutch hits. But he regressed last season, finishing with a .220 batting average with a .678 OPS in 21 games.
The Dodgers acquired Vesia and pitcher Kyle Hurt from the Miami Marlins in February for reliever Dylan Floro. Vesia, 25, made his major-league debut with the Marlins last season. He gave up 10 runs (nine earned) in 4 1/3 innings across five relief appearances.
This season’s first taste of Dodgers vs. Padres drama has everyone wanting more
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 11-6 win in 12 innings over the San Diego Padres on early Saturday morning.
Eighteen more Dodgers-Padres games this season? Yes, please, if they’re anything like Friday’s gloriously tense, edge-of-your-seat, utterly captivating series opener at San Diego’s Petco Park. “It was like a playoff game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after his team’s 12-inning, 11-6 victory had ended in the early minutes of Saturday morning, depleting his bullpen and his bench but not his appreciation of this unexpected gem.
Eighteen more games between the best teams in the National League West, the defending World Series champion Dodgers and a Padres team that was built and bulked up to match the Dodgers’ bountiful skill and ultimately dethrone them? Bring ’em on. Keep ’em coming. The Padres have always been the weaker partner in these teams’ relationship over the decades, but this season they promise to be increasingly worthy adversaries.
“It certainly felt like a rivalry to me,” said Dodgers left fielder Luke Raley, whose first major league home run, a game-tying shot in the fifth inning, was almost lost in the crazy turns of a game that fell just short of five hours. “There was a lot of intensity in this game. It’s something I look forward to being a part of more.”
Dodgers score five runs in the 12th inning to defeat Padres 11-6
SAN DIEGO — The first “Beat L.A.” chants inside Petco Park on Friday erupted at 7:08 p.m., three minutes before first pitch, to apply the final touches to the hype surrounding the most anticipated April series in recent history.
The two-word directive broke out periodically throughout the night, punctuating the home team’s every highlight. It was energy bottled up over the previous year.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant empty stadiums and artificial crowd noise served as the backdrop to the escalating on-field tension between the teams last season. Friday was their first chance to watch the teams up close since the Padres became a legitimate World Series contender.
For more nearly five hours, the 15,250 people in attendance witnessed a game that lived up to its billing, a seesaw clash with blasts, miscues, oddities, and raw emotion so rarely seen two weeks into a regular season. In the end, after 12 innings played over nearly five hours, the Dodgers emerged with a thrilling 11-6 win.
“Yeah,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “it felt like a rivalry tonight.”
The Dodgers (12-2) and Padres (8-5) play again at Petco Park on Saturday at 5:40 p.m. PDT.
David Price strikes out Wil Myers to send game into 12th inning
Dodgers reliever David Price struck out Wil Myers with Fernando Tatis Jr. 90 feet away from scoring the winning run for the Padres as the game moves into the 12th inning tied 6-6.
The Dodgers have gotten out of two situations with the winning run at third base.
Tim Hill keeps Dodgers at bay in the 11th inning
Padres reliever Tim Hill manages to get the Dodgers to go down in order as the Padres get another chance to break a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the 11th.
Luke Raley grounded out to third, pinch hitter Austin Barnes struck out swinging and Mookie Betts flied out to center.
David Price will take over for Dennis Santana on the mound for the Dodgers.
Dennis Santana gets out of bases loaded jam to send game into the 11th
Dodgers reliever Dennis Santana struck out San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. with the bases loaded to send the game into the 11th.
Santana walked Trent Grisham to load the bases with two outs, but managed to get out Tatis, who hit a home run earlier in the game, with a well-placed slider.
End of the 10th: Dodgers 6, Padres 6
Benches and bullpens clear after Dennis Santana hits Jorge Mateo with a pitch
Dodgers reliever Dennis Santana hit Jorge Mateo with a pitch in the 10th inning, prompting Mateo and Santana to engage in a staredown, exchange words and walk toward one another. The situation quickly de-escalated and no punches were thrown as players and umpires prevented Santana and Mateo from getting too close to one another, but not before all the players ran onto the field.
The game is tied 6-6 with Wil Myers on third for the Padres with one out. A deep pop fly by Jurickson Profar to right advanced Myers from second to third.
Dodgers fail to score in the top of the 10th vs. Padres
Padres closer Mark Melancon got Zach McKinstry to strikeout while looking to thwart the Dodgers’ attempt to score in the top half of the 10th.
Max Muncy managed to advance Will Smith from second to third to start the inning on a ground out to second before Chris Taylor lined out to second.
The game is tied 6-6 heading into the bottom of the 10th inning.
Padres tie Dodgers in the ninth to send game into extra innings
Eric Hosmer drove in Manny Machado on a two-out single to right-center off Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen to lift the Padres into a 6-6 tie with the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Jansen got Fernando Tatis Jr. to pop out and struck out Jake Cronenworth before walking Machado. The former Dodgers standout stole second then advanced to third after Jansen threw a slider into the dirt.
Jansen managed to strike out Wil Myers to send the game into the 10th inning.
End of ninth: Dodgers 6, Padres 6
Dodgers take 6-5 lead in ninth on Justin Turner’s run-scoring single
Justin Turner singled to left field off Padres closer Mark Melancon to drive in Mookie Betts from second and give the Dodgers a 6-5 lead in the ninth inning.
Betts reached base on a leadoff single before advancing to second on a short groundout by Corey Seager. Turner has a MLB-leading 15 RBIs on the season.
Will Smith hits into a double play to send the game into the bottom of the ninth. Kenley Jansen remains on the mound for the Dodgers, who are looking to extend their winning streak to seven games.
Padres’ Jurickson Profar ties game 5-5 in the eighth
Jurickson Profar hit a two-run double into the left field corner off Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel to drive in Manny Machado and Wil Myers and tie the game at 5-5 in the eighth inning.
Machado reached base on a single to right-center and Myers pushed him to third on a single to shallow right.
Machado was waving his arms October playoff style as Myers rounded third scored rather easily as AJ Pollock tried to get the ball back to the infield. Knebel is pulled two batters later with two on and two out after walking Victor Caratini. Kenley Jansen took over and got Trent Grishman to ground out to first to end the inning.
Despite it being April and despite a limited amount of fans in attendance, Petco Park is giving off a postseason-like vibe.
End of eighth: Dodgers 5, Padres 5
Dodgers’ Zach McKinstry drives in a run to find some redemption
Zach McKinstry welcomed Padres reliever Drew Pomeranz with a run-scoring double off the right-field wall to give the Dodgers a 5-3 lead in the eighth inning.
McKinstry, whose throwing error in the seventh led to a Padres run, has 12 RBIs on the young season. Will Smith scored from second on McKinstry’s hit after he was hit by a pitch to start off the inning.
Pomeranz strikes out pinch hitter AJ Pollock to strand Max Muncy and McKinstry on the bases.
Beat L.A.? Maybe. Keep Dodgers fans away? Good luck
SAN DIEGO — Had he really heard that? He looked at the television, at the morning news in San Diego. Yes, he had indeed heard that.
Ban the Blue?
Bay Salmeron, a Dodgers fan, lives in Bellflower but works in San Diego. He wanted to watch his favorite team at Petco Park, and now a talking head on TV was telling him he was not welcome.
Salmeron did not cower. He went on StubHub and paid $200 for a ticket to Friday’s game at Petco Park , arguably the most anticipated sporting event in San Diego in the last decade.
Padres score a run to cut into the Dodger’s lead
Ha-Seong Kim scored from second for the Padres after Zach McKinstry throws away the ball while trying to turn a double play on a ball hit by Fernando Tatis Jr. in the seventh inning. Kim reached base on a single, then stole second to put himself in prime position to score when McKinstry couldn’t make a clean throw to first.
The Dodgers lead 4-3 with two outs in the seventh. Victor Gonzalez, who took over for Blake Treinen after the Padres scored, gets Jake Cronenworth to ground out to short to end the inning.
The two teams have combined for five errors tonight.
End of seventh: Dodgers 4, Padres 3
Dodgers take a 4-2 lead over Padres in the sixth
The Dodgers took the lead in the sixth inning after a bad throw to second by Fernando Tatis Jr. on a single by Chris Taylor allowed Justin Turner and Max Muncy to score.
Tatis’ errant throw past second and into right field on Taylor’s single to deep short allowed Justin Turner to score the tying run before Muncy barely beat the throw to home for the go-ahead run.
The Dodgers added another run on the next at-bat when a wild pitch in the dirt to Zach McKinstry by Padres reliever Keone Kela allowed Taylor to score from third.
Walker Buehler then retired the Padres in order in the bottom half of the inning to end his night on the mound. He gave up seven hits, two earned runs and struck out four over six innings. Blake Treinen took over for Buehler in the seventh.
End of sixth: Dodgers 4, Padres 2
Padres retake the lead on solo home run by Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr., playing in his first game back from injury, pounded a Walker Buehler fastball to straightaway center for a solo home run, giving the San Diego Padres a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Jake Cronenworth nearly hit another home run on the next at-bat, but Mookie Betts got underneath it on the warning track.
In the top half of the inning, Dodgers rookie Luke Raley hit his first major league home run to right center field off a slider by Padres reliever Dan Altavilla to temporary tie the game.
The 436-foot solo blast — the hardest hit by a Dodger this season at 113 mph — is also his second major-league hit.
End of fifth: Padres 2, Dodgers 1
Walker Buehler gets out of jam in fourth inning
Walker Buehler showed off some nasty stuff to get out of a jam in the fourth inning.
Buehler struck out Luis Campusano with a beautiful breaking ball before using some 95-mph high heat to strike out pinch hitter Tommy Pham and strand runners on second and third for the Padres.
The Dodgers failed to generate much of anything in the top half of the inning, with Will Smith being left stranded after reaching base on a fielding error by first baseman Eric Hosmer. Pierce Johnson relieved starter Ryan Weathers, who exited after allowing only one hit over 3 2/3 innings.
End of fourth: Padres 1, Dodgers 0
Walker Buehler keeps Padres in check in the third
Walker Buehler gave up a single to Jake Cronenworth after getting Trent Grisham and Fernando Tatis Jr. out on two pitches. Manny Machado’s fly to right ends in the inning.
The Dodgers went down in the top of the inning, with Padres left fielder Jurickson Profar making a spectacular diving catch to thwart Corey Seager of at least a single.
End of third: Padres 1, Dodgers 0
Petco Park is loud tonight
SAN DIEGO — If fans wanted to watch the Dodgers and Padres’ budding rivalry last year their only option was snagging a seat at one of the rooftops overlooking Petco Park across the street.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant empty stadiums so the on-field tension between the clubs — and there was plenty — wasn’t amplified with roars from crowds.
So, Friday is not only the first of 19 scheduled meetings between the clubs in 2021. It’s also the first matchup with fans in the stands since the Padres became a real contender.
Around 15,000 fans were expected, and the difference is impossible to ignore.
A “Beat L.A.!” chant broke out before the game even started. And when Luis Campusano lined an RBI single to right field in the second inning, the ballpark’s decibel level rose to heights unimaginable in 2020.
The cheers — accompanied by the persistent thumping of yellow thundersticks — erupted again when Jurickson Profar made a diving catch top rob Corey Seager of a hit and end the top of the third inning.
In order to avoid a Dodger fan takeover, the Padres incentivized their fans to not sell their tickets with giveaways. The trick appears to have worked to a degree. Dodger blue is sprinkled around the ballpark, but not nearly to the level of years past when Petco Park would become Dodger Stadium South.
Walker Buehler gets into a bit of trouble as Padres take early lead
Luis Campusano hit a first-pitch fastball from Walker Buehler into right field, allowing Manny Machado to score easily from third base and give the Padres a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Mookie Betts was charged with an error when he misplayed the hit, allowing Jurickson Profar to advance from first base to third. He was left stranded there when Ryan Weathers field out to end the inning.
Buehler gave up a leadoff single to Machado, and the former Dodger prompted stole second during the next at-bat. He then advanced to third when Wil Myers lined out to right field.
In the top half of the inning, Padres pitcher Ryan Weathers 30 pitches to get through the inning. After walking Will Smith, he struck out Chris Taylor and got Max Muncy to pop out before giving up a single to Zach McKinstry. A 10-pitch at-bat by Luke Raley ended with him grounding out to second to strand two.
Weathers is at 46 pitches and Buehler stands at 44.
End of second inning: Padres 1, Dodgers 0
Double-plays help Walker Buehler and Ryan Weathers
Dodgers starter Walker Buehler (1-0, 1.50 ERA) and Padres starter Ryan Weathers (1-0, 1.50 ERA) each got a little help from their infield in the first inning.
Weathers walked Mookie Betts to open the game, but benefited from getting Corey Seager to ground into a double play. Weathers then got Justin Turner to pop out.
Buehler gave up a single to Trent Grisham and then struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. before Jake Cronenworth hit into a 5-3 double play.
End of first inning: Dodgers 0, Padres 0
Brusdar Graterol could be activated as soon as Saturday
SAN DIEGO — Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Brusdar Graterol is expected to rejoin the club Friday night or Saturday for possible activation from the injured list as early as Saturday.
Graterol has been at the team’s alternate training site in Arizona, where he pitched in two games over the last three days to check the final box in his build-up to reinstatement.
The right-handed reliever began the season on the injured list for COVID-related reasons. He reported to spring training on time and remained with the team for the duration, but was behind schedule.
Roberts said when Graterol will come off the injured list depends on his club’s bullpen usage Friday and Saturday.
Cody Bellinger has hairline fracture in left fibula, out indefinitely
SAN DIEGO — Earlier this week, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts seemed encouraged by the progress Cody Bellinger was making in his return from a calf injury he suffered late in a blowout win over the Oakland Athletics on April 5.
That optimism took a turn in recent days when, Roberts said, Bellinger’s progression “hit a plateau.” On Friday, Roberts announced that a recent test showed a hairline fracture in Bellinger’s left fibula.
Roberts claimed he didn’t know Bellinger’s timetable for a return. Earlier in the day, however, Roberts told the league’s television network that he expected Bellinger to miss “another week or two.” The Dodgers hadn’t yet announced the fracture when Roberts shared that estimate.
Bellinger sustained the injury when Athletics reliever Reymin Guduan stepped on his calf in a race to first base. Bellinger beat Guduan to the bag, but limped off the field. The Dodgers were leading 10-3 with two outs in the ninth inning.
Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock not in Dodgers’ lineup Friday
SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers’ starting lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Padres won’t include outfielder AJ Pollock and second baseman Gavin Lux.
Pollock exited Thursday’s win over the Colorado Rockies with a groin injury. Lux was a late scratch before first pitch because of a sore left wrist.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Pollock will be available only as a pinch-hitter Friday while Lux will be limited to pinch-running and defense.
Chris Taylor will start at second base for Lux. Luke Raley will make his second career start in left field in Pollock’s place.
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Will Smith C
Max Muncy 1B
Chris Taylor CF
Zach McKinstry 2B
Luke Raley LF
Walker Buehler P
Fernando Tatis Jr. activated from IL, back in Padres’ lineup
SAN DIEGO — As expected, the Padres activated star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. from the injured list ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Dodgers. He will start and bat second.
Tatis Jr. hasn’t played since suffering a left shoulder sublaxtion (fancy for partial dislocation) taking a swing April 5. The 22-year-old franchise cornerstone’s status for the rest of the season was unclear upon exiting the game. Surgery would have ended his year. He decided to rest and rehab to ultimately play through it.
Tatis Jr. committed his career to the Padres in February, signing a 14-year, $340 million contract. Within weeks, his left shoulder became a problem during spring training, forcing him to miss time. He was off to a dreadful start o the season before landing on the IL. In five games, he went 3 for 18 with six strikeouts and five errors.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler said the team has worked with Tatis Jr. to minimize the chances of re-injuring his shoulder, going as far to have him switch to a two-armed followthrough to end his swing. Tingler said Tatis has taken 100 swings a day to practice the mechanic change.
“The reality is you get out there and the game speeds up, adrenaline and all those things,” Tingler said. “We’ve tried to use the past seven, 10 days and talk about with the medical team how can we minimize risk. These things are going to happen in the the game.
“Just trying to do the best we can talking about what are some of the danger points. The last thing we want is in a couple days, a couple weeks, a couple months, something happening again. We’ve got a long year this year, and he’s got a long career ahead of him.”
How a broken painting captured Jackie Robinson’s unbreakable spirit
Bob Kendrick beamed with pride as he looked at the broken painting.
In black and gray strokes of charcoal and pastel, four men are depicted. They sit around a dinner table. Their hands are clasped together. Their heads are bowed as they say grace.
It’s a setting that played out several times in real life: Martin Luther King Jr. joining Dodgers legends Don Newcombe, Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson for a meal, thanking them for their contributions to the civil rights movement as some of the first — and in Robinson’s case, the very first — baseball players to break MLB’s color barrier.
Jackie Robinson Day is ‘Uncle Jackie Day’ for one Dodgers employee
The Dodgers would take the field in a few minutes, but first Jackie Robinson had a few things to say. On the giant video board above left field, Robinson came to life, in newsreels and pictures and interviews.
“I got chills,” said the usher working Section 16 on the field level.
Robinson is an almost mythical figure these days, an American hero and a baseball legend, a page of history to which the major leagues turn every April 15. The last words he spoke in the Dodgers’ video Thursday, from his speech at the 1972 World Series, remain topical and urgent today.
“I’m extremely proud and pleased to be here this afternoon,” Robinson said that day, “but must admit I am going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third-base coaching line one day and see a Black face managing in baseball.”
Decorated veteran David Price achieves an unlikely yet crucial first as a Dodger
The last time David Price earned a save, he ended up in a dogpile. He was 35 days into his major league career and the Tampa Bay Rays had just clinched a spot in the World Series.
Five All-Star appearances, four more teams, one Cy Young Award and 4,563 days later, Price earned another save.
“You don’t script many things in baseball, but this could not have been scripted any better for him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When he has a moment like this to add to all of his other personal achievements, this is a nice feather in his cap.”
Almost famous? San Diego is ready for a defining moment from beloved Padres
Steve Garvey couldn’t help but notice the futuristic metal cubes. They ringed the presidential desk of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, who had invited the Dodgers star to his hilltop home in La Jolla in hopes of convincing him to join his San Diego Padres. It was 1982, Time magazine had named the personal computer its Machine of the Year, and to Garvey, the glowing devices and their mystifying connection to the world at large was something out of “Blade Runner,” which captivated audiences that summer.
“They looked like small black-and-white TV screens,” recalled Garvey, so transfixed at the time that he walked around to Kroc’s side of the desk to get a better view. “He told me he was minding the store, checking sales in North America and Europe. He was in his 80s, sitting there in his little golf cap, making the first big move in the history of the Padres organization, and he liked big moves.”
Small screens, big vision. The guy who sold cheeseburgers for 19 cents and fries for a dime understood the monumental value of landing Garvey, the personification of Dodger Blue. Kroc dreamed of being an arch rival in the truest definition.
ICYMI: Justin Turner and Max Muncy power Dodgers to sweeping win over Rockies
The Dodgers bused to San Diego late Thursday night for the first of what third baseman Justin Turner called “19 World Series games” against the Padres, the rivalry with their Southern California neighbors going from regional feud to a full-blown clash between two of the best teams in baseball.
The Dodgers will hit Petco Park for a stretch in which they’ll play the Padres seven times in 10 days with a full head of steam, having completed a three-game sweep of the woeful Colorado Rockies with a 7-5 come-from-behind victory before a reduced-capacity crowd of 15,129 in Chavez Ravine Thursday night.
Max Muncy keyed a four-run seventh inning with a clutch three-run homer, and starter-turned-reliever David Price survived a harrowing ninth, as the Dodgers extended their win streak to six games and their major league-best record to 11-2.
Jorge Castillo and Kevin Acee preview the Dodgers vs. Padres series
The Times’ Jorge Castillo and San Diego Union Tribune’s Kevin Acee compare notes ahead of the first of 19 games between the NL West division rivals.
Jorge Castillo, the Dodgers beat writer for The Times, and Kevin Acee, the Padres beat writer for the San Diego Padres, offer their thoughts on both teams heading into this weekend’s three game series.