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Padres rally from 7-1 down to beat Dodgers, 8-7

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Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager hits a triple against the San Diego Padres.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager hits a triple against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Dodgers lose three of four to San Diego as bullpen can’t hold lead.

Dodgers can’t capitalize on several bases-loaded opportunities and fall to the Padres.

Padres rally from 7-1 deficit to win, 8-7

A postseason game wasn’t played as the sun sparkled, set and vanished, making way for a chilly night at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. It just felt like baseball suited for October.

Game 7 of the 19-game season series between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres produced the energy, oddities and stomach-churning drama that captivated audiences in each of the first six matchups — aptly split evenly between the clubs.

Sunday’s bout included a blown six-run lead, 12 relievers, 422 pitches and two pitchers-turned-pinch-hitters over four hours and 59 minutes. There were hearty boos from the 15,316 in attendance, wasted opportunities and, after 11 innings, an 8-7 comeback win for the Padres in the rivals’ final meeting until June 21.

The Padres (13-11) scored the winning run on Eric Hosmer’s sacrifice fly off Garrett Cleavinger after San Diego executed a double steal to put runners in scoring position.

Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen hugs catcher Will Smith after getting the save in the Dodgers’ 5-4 win April 24, 2021.

Cleavinger was the fifth reliever to emerge from the Dodgers’ taxed bullpen, which didn’t have Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen or Scott Alexander available. David Price, the first reliever used, gave up two runs — one earned — in the seventh inning and didn’t reappear for the eighth because of a hamstring strain.

The shortage handcuffed the Dodgers (15-7) as they dropped the four-game set, three games to one, for their first series loss of the season after taking two of three from the Padres in San Diego last weekend. In all, the clubs have been separated by two or fewer runs in 61 1/2 innings across the seven games.

“I think the net is they outplayed us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

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Guy catches two home run balls during Sunday’s game

So, during this lengthy game Sunday, one lucky fan in right field caught two home run balls. One hit by Fernando Tatis Jr. and one hit by Chris Taylor. He showed it off on Twitter. The strange thing: They showed him throwing the Tatis home run ball back during the ESPN telecast, yet he’s holding two balls here. Hmmmm.

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Dodgers have bases loaded, one out, and don’t score

Padres: Jimmy Nelson is STILL PITCHING. Mateo, who made the last out in the ninth, starts the inning on second base. Rios to first, Muncy to second. Profar grounded into the shift, Mateo moving to third. Caratini walked. Ryan Weathers, a pitcher, hit for the pitcher, because the Padres are out of position players. He tried to lay down a bunt, pushed it foul, then struck out swinging. Tatis Jr. struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Tim Hill now pitching for the Padres. Corey Seager starts the inning on second. Turner hit a bouncer to second, Seager to third. The Padres intentionally walked Muncy and Taylor. With the Dodgers out of position players, Clayton Kershaw pinch-hit for Nelson. He struck out swinging. Peters struck out swinging.

Score after 10: Dodgers 7, Padres 7

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Padres tie it up, 7-7

Padres: Peters in the game in center, Betts moves to right. Jimmy Nelson now pitching for the Dodgers, looking for his first career save. Caratini hit a looper to shallow left that just eluded the diving try of Justin Turner. Luis Campusano, hitting for Pomeranz, flied to center. And here comes Fernando Tatis Jr., who just tried to put the ball in play with two strikes on him and singled to left. Grisham singled to left, scoring Caratini. Campusano ended up at third. Machado singled to center, scoring Campusano, Grisham to third. It might be a good idea to remove Jimmy Nelson. Machado stole second. Hosmer walked, loading the bases. There is no one throwing in the Dodger bullpen. Cronenworth hit a fly ball to shallow left, too shallow for the runner to score. Mateo struck out swinging. But the damage has been done. It’s 7-7.

Dodgers: Emilio Pagan now pitching for the Padres. Barnes hit a blooper to right for a single. Just like the top of the inning started. Edwin Rios is batting for Neuse. At this point, I’d rather have Neuse hitting. Rios flied to left. Betts struck out looking at a ball that was too low. Seager flied to left.

Score after nine: Dodgers 7, Padres 7

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Padres continue to rally, now trail 7-5

Padres: Brusdar Graterol now pitching for the Dodgers. Tatis Jr. walked on five pitches. They are not giving him anything good to hit at all now. Grisham flied to center. With Tatis running on the pitch, Machado singled to center. First and third, one out. And that’s it for Graterol, as he is bring replaced by left-hander Victor Gonzalez to face the left-handed hitting Hosmer, who singled to right on the first pitch, scoring Tatis. First and second, one out. Cronenworth walked, loading the bases. Mateo hit a slow grounder to second. The Dodgers forced Hosmer at second, but the ball was hit too slow for a double play. Profar struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt.

Dodgers: Drew Pomeranz now pitching for the Dodgers. Turner struck out looking. Muncy struck out swinging. Taylor hit a liner to right that Mateo dove for and missed, allowing Taylor to reach third on a triple. Will Smith, batting for Gonzalez, was walked intentionally. With DJ Peters, batting for Raley, at the plate, Smith stole second. Peters struck out swinging.

Score after eight: Dodgers 7, Padres 5

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Padres close to 7-3 thanks in part to poor fielding

Padres: David Price now pitching for the Dodgers. Taylor to left field, Neuse to second. Hosmer singled hard past Turner into left. Cronenworth singled to left. First and second, nobody out. Mateo struck out swinging. Profar hit a grounder to second that Neuse kicked for an error. Bases loaded, one out. Caratini singled to left, scoring two runners. First and second, one out. Wil Myers, batting for the pitcher, hits into a 5-4-3 double play.

Dodgers: Neuse struck out swinging. Betts struck out swinging. Seager grounded to first.

Score after seven: Dodgers 7, Padres 3

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Dodgers take 7-1 lead (and free Jumbo Jacks throughout the land!)

Padres: Ha-Seong Kim, batting for Stammen, struck out swinging. That’s 10 strikeouts tonight for Dodger pitchers, so free Jumbo Jacks tomorrow throughout the L.A. area! Tatis Jr. walked, a classic pitch around. Tatis stole second. Grisham grounded to second, Tatis to third. Machado popped to short.

Dodgers: Nick Ramirez now pitching for the Padres. Sheldon Neuse, batting for May, homered to left on the first pitch. Betts hit a line drive to short that Tatis was lucky to get a piece of. Base hit for Betts. Seager singled up the middle. Betts never stopped and dared the center fielder to throw him out. He couldn’t. First and third, nobody out. Turner flied to center, scoring Betts. Muncy walked for the fourth time this game. Taylor blasted a 3-0 pitch over the right-center field fence for a home run, making it 7-1 Dodgers. AJ Pollock, batting for Beaty, singled to right. Raley flied to center. Barnes grounded to second.

Score after six: Dodgers 7, Padres 1

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Dustin May has nine strikeouts through five innings

Padres: Cronenworth singled to center. Cronenworth stole second. Mateo flied to right, too shallow for Cronenworth to advance. Profar struck out swinging. Caratini struck out looking. May has nine strikeouts. One more, and free Jumbo Jacks throughout the land.

Dodgers: Turner flied to center. Muncy walked on six pitches. Taylor popped to shallow center. Beaty walked on five pitches. At least he didn’t get hit by a pitch this time. Raley was hit by a pitch. Must have confused him with Beaty. Barnes struck out swinging on a pitch way outside. Dodgers could easily have a 5-1 or 6-1 lead if they could get a key hit.

Score after five: Dodgers 2, Padres 1

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Fernando Tatis Jr. homers again

Padres: Tatis Jr. homered to center and had a lot of fun rounding the bases, doing a little dance befor reaching third base. Grisham struck out looking. Machado struck out looking. Hosmer struck out looking.

Dodgers: And Musgrove is out of the game. Craig Stammen is now pitching. May struck out swinging. Betts grounded to third. Seager struck out swinging.

Score after four innings: Dodgers 2, Padres 1

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Dodgers take 2-0 lead on Seager’s triple, Turner’s single

Padres: Jurickson Profar grounded to May. Victor Caratini struck out looking. Joe Musgrove struck out swinging. May is cruising, making 36 pitches through three inning, 25 for strikes.

Dodgers: Seager tripled down the right-field line. The ESPN announcer had no idea what was going on, first thinking the ball was foul, then that the ball was interfered with, despite no fans being along the fence. But in fairness, they are watching it on screens and not in the stadium. Right fielder Mateo was playing way over in right-center, allowing Seager to get a triple instead of a double. Turner then singled to right, scoring Seager. Muncy walked on six pitches. Taylor struck out looking at a fastball that barely caught the corner. Perfect pitch. With a full count, Beaty was hit by a pitch. Twice now today. He’s going to be sore tomorrow. Raley struck out swinging. Barnes grounded to short. Musgrove has made 77 pitches and is not long for this game.

Score after two: Dodgers 2, Padres 0

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Dodgers take 1-0 lead in second inning

Padres: Eric Hosmer grounded into the shift. Jake Cronenworth struck out swinging at a pitch that broke so much it almost hit him in the knee. Tommy Pham grounded to third.

Dodgers: Tommy Pham injured his leg in that last at-bat and has to come out of the game. Jorge Mateo is now playing right and Jurickson Profar moves to left. Max Muncy walked. Chris Taylor hit a one-hopper to Tatis at short, who kicked it for an error. First and second with nobody out. Tatis has made nine errors already this season. On an 0-2 pitch, Matt Beaty was hit by a pitch. Musgrove and the Padres manager were unhappy, claiming Beaty leaned into the pitch, which he did a bit. But that is not reviewable.

Luke Raley struck out swinging. Austin Barnes fouled off several nice pitches and then dumped one into right field for a single and an RBI. Bases remain loaded. Dustin May struck out looking. Why do we want pitchers to hit again? It’s time for the DH. Betts grounded to short, forcing Barnes at second.

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Scoreless first inning at Dodger Stadiun

Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. grounded to third. He didn’t homer. Must not be feeling well. Trent Grisham struck out looking on a nasty breaking ball. Manny Machado grounded to short.

Dodgers: Mookie Betts popped to short. Corey Seager flied to center. Justin Turner popped to center.

Score after one: Dodgers 0, Padres 0

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A closer look at the Dustin May vs. Joe Musgrove pitching matchup

A closer look at today’s matchup pitting Dustin May of the Dodgers against Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 4:08 p.m. PT.

Dustin May
(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Dustin May, RHP

2021: 1-1, 2.93 ERA, 1.109 WHIP
Career: 6-5, 2.97 ERA, 1.094 WHIP
Career vs. Padres: 1-3, 2.97 ERA in four starts
Career at Dodger Stadium: 2-3, 2.54 ERA in eight starts

Doesn’t want to face
Eric Hosmer, .500 (4 for 8, 3 RBIs)
Tommy Pham, .333 (2 for 6)
Jake Cronenworth, .3 (2 for 6, 1 HR)

Won’t mind facing
Trent Grisham, .000 (0 for 5, 3 K’s)
Fernando Tatis Jr., .083 (1 for 12, 4 K’s)
Wil Myers, .200 (2 for 10)

Joe Musgrove
(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Joe Musgrove, RHP

2021: 2-2, 1.04 ERA, 0.538 WHIP
Career: 31-40, 4.17 ERA, 1.198 WHIP
Career vs. Dodgers: 0-3, 5.40 ERA in three starts
Career at Dodger Stadium: 0-1, 1.35 ERA in one start

Doesn’t want to face
Max Muncy, .556 (5 for 9)
Chris Taylor, .333 (2 for 6)
Corey Seager, .333 (2 for 6, 1 double)

Won’t mind facing
Matt Beaty, .000 (0 for 3)
Austin Barnes, .000 (0 for 3)

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Kenley Jansen unavailable for Sunday’s series finale

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Kenley Jansen won’t be available out the bullpen Sunday after throwing 23 pitches in 1 1/3 innings Saturday. He also said left-hander Scott Alexander won’t be an option.

The Dodgers have been careful with Jansen since he blew a save against the Athletics on April 7 pitching on back-to-back days. That was the last time the right-hander has pitched on consecutive days.

He’s made five outings since then, all on at least one day of rest. He’s given up one run on one hit with 11 strikeouts and three walks across 5 2/3 innings in those outings. Saturday was the second time in nine days that he’s entered a game in the eighth inning and recorded four outs.

Blake Treinen threw 21 pitches Saturday, but he’s available Sunday. Brusdar Graterol, who hasn’t pitched since last Sunday, is expected to appear in Sunday’s game. The Dodgers’ right-handed relief depth took a hit Friday when Corey Knebel suffered a lat injury that will keep him on the injured list for months.

Alexander tossed 12 pitches and gave up one hit in one-third of an inning Saturday. It was his four appearance in a week.

Roberts said Dennis Santana is feeling better and could return to the club Monday. Santana was placed on the COVID-19 list after feeling side effects from his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Trevor Bauer accuses Fernando Tatis Jr. of peeking at sign and Tatis responds

Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates his solo home run in front of Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer during Saturday's game.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

The second home run Fernando Tatis Jr. clubbed off Trevor Bauer on Saturday night was an impressive power display.

Bauer threw the shortstop a 3-2 slider off the plate outside in the other batter’s box in the sixth inning . Tatis reached out and cranked it to straightaway center field.

It wasn’t just Tatis’ second home run of the game. It was his second straight game with two home runs. He became the first player ever to hit multiple home runs off former Cy Young Award winners (Clayton Kershaw and Bauer) on consecutive days and the first visiting player to slug multiple home runs on back-to-back days at Dodger Stadium since Barry Bonds in 2002.

Coming off a significant shoulder injury, it’s an encouraging sign for the San Diego Padres.

But Bauer thinks Tatis broke an unwritten rule for the second blast. The Dodgers pitcher accused Tatis on Sunday of peeking back at catcher Will Smith to know where Smith was positioned before pouncing on the slider – first on Twitter and then in a video he posted on his YouTube channel, further fueling a rivalry that has included just about everything since the start of the shortened 2020 season.

Tatis responded to Bauer’s accusation on Twitter – Bauer quote tweeted a video of Tatis appearing to look back at Smith – by photo shopping Bauer’s face on to a baby. The caption: Tranquilo hijo. Calm down, son.

Bauer then posted the 13-minute YouTube video. He spent the first eight minutes playfully breaking down and rating Tatis’ celebrations.

Tatis celebrated both homers Saturday with gusto. He flipped his bat and pounded his chest. He trolled Bauer’s one-eyed gimmick. He borrowed Bauer’s Connor McGregor strut. After the game, Bauer said he welcomed the emotion.

But in his video Sunday, Bauer said peeking back at the catcher crossed the line. He spent the final five minutes breaking down the sequence and giving his opinion on the matter.

“Am I mad about the celebrations and the bat flips and all that stuff? No,” Bauer said. “However, if you start looking at signs, if you start pulling this bush league stuff, that’s when people get pissed off.

“I mean, a lot of people get pissed off about the celebrations. whatever. They’re just soft. That’s the type of stuff that would get you hit in other games. Now I’m mild-mannered about it and I’m going to send a message more this way and say, ‘Hey, that’s not OK. If you keep doing it, something will have to happen.’ But baseball policing itself, this is where it would happen.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts claimed he wasn’t aware of Bauer’s accusations when asked before Sunday’s series finale between the clubs at Dodger Stadium.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Fernando as a ballplayer, the way he plays the game,” Roberts said. “If that is the case, which I don’t know, that will be noted.”

Does that mean your catcher will make an adjustment or look for Tatis peeking?

“No, that’s not what I’m talking about,” Roberts said.

The clubs’ series finale Sunday is their seventh meeting of the season and their final one until June 21.

“There’s no real remedy for the catcher and the pitcher to use to counteract someone looking back at the signs,” Bauer said. “So the remedy is if you look back at the signs, that’s fine, there’s no rule that says I can’t stick a fastball in your ribs. And that’s kind of how it’s been handled traditionally in baseball up until this point.

“Now, flip the bat and do all that stuff, fine. If you’re going to look at the signs, not OK, and if you do it again, the team that you’re playing probably ain’t going to take too kindly to it and there might have to be some on-field stuff. Now I’m not saying that that’s the case here because I don’t mind it. I’m going to send my message here and tell him that’s not OK.”

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Chris Taylor back in the Dodgers’ lineup for the series finale

Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor bats against the Colorado Rockies on April 1.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Chris Taylor is back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Sunday against the Padres for the first time since Tuesday.

Taylor appeared in the Dodgers’ win Saturday off the bench in his first action since being out with lower back stiffness. He entered the game as a pinch hitter, went 1 for 2 and played three innings of defense. He bounced from center field to second base back to center field.

Taylor was scratched from the Dodgers’ lineup Thursday a couple of hours before first pitch. He will make his fourth start at second base and bat fifth Sunday.

Dustin May will take the mound opposite Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove, who threw the first no-hitter in franchise history and enters with a 1.04 ERA this season.

DODGERS (15-6)

Mookie Betts CF
Corey Seager SS
Justin 3B
Max Muncy 1B
Chris Taylor 2B
Matt Beaty LF
Luke Raley RF
Austin Barnes C
Dustin May P

PADRES (12-11)

Fernando Tatis Jr. SS
Trent Grisham CF
Manny Machado 3B
Eric Hosmer 1B
Jake Cronenworth 2B
Tommy Pham LF
Jurickson Profar RF
Victor Caratini C
Joe Musgrove P

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Padres’ Joe Musgrove enters the fray with a checkered history against the Dodgers

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 14.
(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Familiarity reigned the first three games of the series with pitching matchups identical to last weekend’s three-game set at Petco Park: Walker Buehler faced Ryan Weathers, Clayton Kershaw faced Yu Darvish and Trevor Bauer faced Blake Snell.

Results? The Dodgers and Padres have each won three with a rubber game of sorts Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

New faces to the rivalry will take the mound with Dodgers right-hander Dustin May pitted against Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove.

Which Musgrove will show up? In three starts against the Dodgers in 2018 and 2019 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Musgrove was 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA, allowing 22 hits in 16 2/3 innings. He also gave up three runs in four innings of relief with the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers.

Since joining his hometown Padres this offseason, however, Musgrove has been all but unhittable. In four starts, he has a 1.04 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 26 innings. He pitched the first no-hitter in Padres history against the Texas Rangers on April 9 and struck out 13 Milwaukee Brewers in seven innings of his last start April 19.

Musgrove is also unpredictable with his mouth. He was caught on video in 2017 cursing the Dodgers when he was part of the Astros’ cheating World Series championship team. But a year ago he intimated to reporters that the Astros didn’t deserve the title. “I don’t want to say it’s tainted,” he said, “but I think it is.”

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Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Padres on Sunday

Chris Taylor and Corey Seager reach out a hand to each other on the field.
Dodgers teammates Chris Taylor, left, and Matt Beaty celebrate after scoring on a single by Corey Seager in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the Padres on Saturday.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers will look to look to 23-year old flamethrower Dustin May on Sunday to help them split their four-game set with the San Diego Padres.

May has increased his strikeout rate immensely this season. He stands at 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings in three starts after averaging 7.1 in 2020.

He will look to out-duel Joe Musgrove, who threw the first no-hitter in Padres franchise history earlier this month. He has a 2-2 record and a 1.04 ERA with 12.8 strikeouts and just one walk issued per nine innings.

Dodgers line for April 25, 2021.
(VSIN)

The Padres own the top bullpen ERA in the National League, but they gave up three runs in three innings during a 5-4 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday.

Though Saturday’s game went over the total, both squads are two of the most profitable to the under, with 13 of the Dodgers’ 21 games and 15 of the Padres’ 23 games finishing under the total.

VSiN, the Sports Betting Network, offers more expert sports betting content in a free daily email at VSiN.com/email.

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Kenley Jansen helps Dodgers hang on to beat Padres as L.A. starts to return to normal

Highlights from the Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

Fully vaccinated fans sat shoulder to shoulder in two loge sections of Dodger Stadium on Saturday night, the first time since 2019 everyone wasn’t required to practice social distancing.

The question was whether the Dodgers would give those 500 fans in vaccination nation something to high-five strangers about or turn in another stinker, prompting folks to leave early and give new meaning to the term touch-and-go.

The Dodgers had lost four of five amid a historic batting funk. Their 23 hits over the previous six games were their fewest in a six-game stretch since 1909 when their predecessors, the Brooklyn Superbas, collected just 21 in baseball’s dead-ball era.

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen beats his chest after getting the save in the Dodgers' 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen beats his chest after getting the save in the Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

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Kenley Jansen secures Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the Padres

Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen hugs catcher Will Smith after getting the save in the Dodgers' 5-4 win.
Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen hugs catcher Will Smith after getting the save in the Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the Padres on Saturday.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Kenley Jansen strikes out Trent Grisham on a 95-mph sinker to secure a 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

After getting Victor Caratini on a called third strike, Jansen walked Luis Campusano. Pinch runner Jorge Mateo the stole second and advanced to third on Fernando Tatis Jr. grounding out to short. With the tying run 90 feet away, Jansen powered his way past Grisham to earn the save.

The Dodgers improve to 15-6 on the season and the Padres fall to 12-10 heading into Sunday’s series finale.

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Dodgers lead 5-4 heading into the ninth inning

Kenley Jansen got the Dodgers out of jam in the eighth when Jurickson Profar grounded out to first with the game-tying run at third.

In the bottom portion of the inning, a deep fly to the warning track in right field off the bat of Justin Turner was as close as the Dodgers got to scoring another run until Myers made the catch to end the inning.

Jansen will be back on the mound in the ninth.

End of eighth: Dodgers 5, Padres 4

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Padres score on wild pitch to cut into the Dodgers’ lead

A wild pitch by Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen allowed Jake Cronenworth to sprint home from third and cut the Dodgers’ lead to 5-4 in the seventh inning.

Treinen found some redemption when he struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. and Trent Grisham to get out of the jam.

Treinen took over for Victor González after the reliever walked Cronenworth and gave up a single to Victor Caratini. Tommy Pham loaded the bases on single to right, allowing the Padres to capitalize on Treinen’s wild pitch.

The Dodgers threatened to score against reliever Aaron Northcraft in the top half of the inning before Chris Taylor hit into a double play to leave AJ Pollock stranded at third.

End of seventh: Dodgers 5, Padres 4

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Dodgers score three runs in the sixth to take 5-3 lead

Corey Seager hits a two-run single during the sixth inning.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Corey Seager hit a two-run single off Padres reliever Tim Hill to give the Dodgers a 5-3 lead in the sixth inning.

One at-bat earlier, Padres reliever Pierce Johnson issued a bases-loaded walk to Mookie Betts to tie the game.

Sheldon Neuse scored the tying run after Betts drew the walk. It ended Johnson’s night, who failed to get an out after taking over for starter Blake Snell.

Neuse singled to center to start things off for the Dodgers. Chris Taylor, making his first appearance in the series after missing the last two games because of back stiffness, singled while pinch hitting for DJ Peters. Matt Beaty then followed with another pinch-hit single.

Victor González will be on the mound in the seventh for the Dodgers. Trevor Bauer allowed allowed five hits, including two home runs to Fernando Tatis Jr., and struck out nine over six innings.

End of sixth: Dodgers 5, Padres 3

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Fernando Tatis Jr. hits his fourth home run in two games to give Padres lead

Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates his solo home run during the first inning Saturday.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his second solo home run of the game off Trevor Bauer to give San Diego a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning.

Tatis has hit four home runs in his last seven at-bats. He had two home runs in the Dodgers’ 6-1 loss Friday. His latest home run was a 414-foot blast to center field that came on an 89 mph cutter.

Perhaps the Dodgers should consider intentionally walking Tatis the next time he’s at the plate.

Bauer did manage to offer a moment of levity despite taking a comebacker off the side of his body. After Eric Hosmer drilled a single that ricocheted off Bauer into center field, the Dodgers pitcher briefly played dead on the field with his arms and legs spread wide while looking up into the Chavez Ravine night sky. He then got up laughing and even repeated his sword-sheathing celebration when he struck out Wil Myers to end the top half of the inning.

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer reacts after taking a line drive off the side of his body.
Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer reacts after taking a line drive off the side of his body on a hit by Eric Hosmer during the sixth inning.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

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Dodgers threaten, but can’t score in the fifth vs. Padres

Dodgers fail to score after Padres starter Blake Snell strikes out AJ Pollock with Justin Turner on third and Will Smith on second.

After Snell walked Turner with two outs, Smith hit a double down the left field line, but he and Turner were left stranded.

While Trevor Bauer hasn’t been in one-eyed jack mode tonight, he does have a new mound celebration. After striking out Victor Caratini in the fifth, Bauer brought out a huge imaginary sword and sheathed it with authority. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner has retired the last 11 batters he’s faced.

End of fifth: Dodgers 2, Padres 2

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Dodgers tie Padres 2-2 in the fourth after Blake Snell’s fielding gaffe

Padres starter Blake Snell is being rather generous to a Dodgers team that spoiled his World Series title aspirations last October.

With Manny Machado shouting at him to let it roll foul, Snell picked up a ball hit by Sheldon Neuse that allowed AJ Pollock to score from third and tie the game 2-2 with no outs in the fourth.

Pollock started off with a single to shallow center before Max Muncy walked. A double steal by Pollock and Muncy put runners on third and second with Neuse at the plate. The short infield crawler hit by Neuse appeared to be rolling foul before a scrambling Snell picked up the ball. But it was too late for him to make a play at first or anywhere else.

The Padres, however, manage to limit the potential damage. Snell struck out DJ Peters, picked off Neuse in a rundown at second and got Trevor Bauer to ground out.

Bauer put down the Padres in order in the top of the inning, recording his sixth strikeout of the game on Eric Hosmer. Bauer has retired eight consecutive batters.

End of fourth: Dodgers 2, Padres 2

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Justin Turner drives in a run to cut into the Padres’ lead

Justin Turner drove in the Dodgers’ first run off a single in the bottom of the third to make it 2-1 Padres heading into the fourth inning.

The Dodgers’ mini two-out surge started when Mookie Betts singled to left-center. Corey Seager then singled to center — his first hit against the Padres since his 12th-inning home run on April 16. Betts then scored from second of Turner’s hit to left.

The inning ended in a cascade of boos and shaking heads on a called third-strike to Will Smith. Replays showed the pitch was clearly outside the strike zone.

In the top half of the inning, Trevor Bauer struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. and Trent Grisham before getting Manny Machado to ground out to third.

End of third: Padres 2, Dodgers 1

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Trevor Bauer gets sly with Manny Machado, feeding him a diet of sliders

Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer delivers during the third inning against the Padres on Saturday.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

Manny Machado has owned Trevor Bauer, posting a slash line of .632/.696/1.368 against him. So how did Bauer adjust?

He threw Machado eight sliders — only one cut fastball as a waste pitch wasn’t a slider — in Machado’s first two at-bats, striking him out and getting a weak ground ball to third.

Bauer wasn’t as effective against other Padres hitters early. In addition to Fernando Tatis Jr. leading off the game with a home run, Wil Myers singled, stole second and scored on a single by Jurickson Profar in the second inning.

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Padres take 2-0 lead on Jurickson Profar’s run-scoring single

Dodgers catcher Will Smith drops a pop fly in foul territory in front of San Diego's Victor Caratini.
Dodgers catcher Will Smith drops a pop fly in foul territory in front of San Diego’s Victor Caratini during the second inning Saturday.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

San Diego’s Jurickson Profar singled into center field off Trevor Bauer to score Wil Myers and give the Padres a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

Myers worked 13 pitches out of Bauer before singling to left field. A few pitches later, Myers stole second base.

Profar shouldn’t have had a chance to drive in Myers. Will Smith was charged with an error after a pop fly behind home plate by Profar dropped out of his glove.

In the bottom half of the inning, Padres center fielder Trent Grisham made a running catch into the wall on a ball hit by Max Muncy that likely would have scored Will Smith from second if it dropped. On the next at-bat, Sheldon Neuse popped out to right to end the inning.

End of second: Padres 2, Dodgers 0

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Eye for an eye: Fernando Tatis Jr. homers against Trevor Bauer and covers one eye

After Fernando Tatis Jr. passed first base after leading off the game with a home run, he turned to the Padres’ dugout and covered an eye with his hand, presumably referencing Trevor Bauer’s occasionally pitching with one eye closed.

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Fernando Tatis Jr. hits leadoff home run to give Padres 1-0 lead

Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates after hitting a leadoff home run against Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer on Saturday.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

Fernando Tatis Jr., who hit two home runs Friday, led off the game with a home run to left field off Trevor Bauer to give the San Diego Padres a 1-0 lead.

As he rounded the bases, Tatis appeared to cover one of his eyes while spinning around toward the Padres dugout. In multiple games this spring, Bauer has pitched with one eye closed. Tatis entered the series against the Dodgers in a hitting slump, but that’s ancient history now.

After giving up a 383-footer, Bauer struck out Trent Grisham and Manny Machado. DJ Peters, making his first major league start with the Dodgers, nearly collided with left fielder AJ Pollock while catching a deep fly ball off the bat of Eric Hosmer. Peters had to momentarily regain his composure after making the catch following the near-collision.

In the bottom half of the inning, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Justin Turner went down in order against Padres starter Blake Snell.

End of first inning: Padres 1, Dodgers 0

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Dodgers allow 500 fully vaccinated fans in two sections without social distancing

The Dodgers play the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on April 10.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

Fully vaccinated fans will sit shoulder-to-shoulder in two loge sections of Dodger Stadium on Saturday night, the first time since 2019 everyone isn’t required to practice social distance.

The question is whether the Dodgers give those 500 or so fans in vaccination nation something to high-five strangers about or turn in another stinker, prompting folks to leave early and give new meaning to the term touch-and-go.

The Dodgers have lost four of five amid a historic batting funk. Their 23 hits over the last six games are their fewest in a six-game stretch since 1909 when the Dodgers predecessors, the Brooklyn Superbas, collected just 21.

Eventually, of course, the Dodgers will hit. And eventually, many more fans will be allowed to watch without social distancing. Dodgers President Stan Kasten said Saturday that more fully vaccinated sections could be added by the next homestand May 11.

Kasten also said the Dodgers are “very, very close” to the MLB 85% vaccination threshold, at which point the activities of players and coaches in clubhouses and dugouts will be much closer to normal.

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DJ Peters and Sheldon Neuse crack the Dodgers’ starting lineup

Dodgers outfielder DJ Peters, left, arrives for batting practice.
Dodgers outfielder DJ Peters, left, arrives for batting practice during spring training at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix on Feb. 21, 2020.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

DJ Peters will get his first MLB start Saturday night for the Dodgers, batting eighth and playing center field against the Padres.

DODGERS
Mookie Betts CF
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Will Smith C
AJ Pollock LF
Max Muncy 1B
Sheldon Neuse 2B
DJ Peters CF
Trevor Bauer P

PADRES
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS
Trent Grisham CF
Manny Machado 3B
Eric Hosmer 1B
Wil Myers RF
Jake Cronenworth 2B
Jurickson Profar LF
Victor Caratini C
Blake Snell P

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Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel out ‘months’ with lat injury, Dave Roberts says

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Corey Knebel works against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning.
Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel throws against the Colorado Rockies on April 4.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel is expected to be out “months” with a lat injury, manager Dave Roberts said Saturday. Roberts said an MRI exam indicated the latissimus dorsi muscle did not tear and that surgery would not be needed.

“Our expectation is that he will pitch again for us this year,” Roberts said.

Knebel and reliever Dennis Santana — who is feeling ill after getting a vaccine shot — were placed on the injured list. Utility player Matt Beaty and left-handed reliever Garrett Cleavinger were called up.

Knebel left Friday night’s game after walking Eric Hosmer, the only batter he faced. The injury was initially reported as a sore triceps, and Roberts said that “in the moment, that’s what he was feeling. When we got the testing done, we settled in on the lat.”

Knebel has pitched six innings over eight appearances this season, allowing three earned runs. He signed a one-year, $5.25 million contract during the offseason even though he missed all of 2019 and much of 2020 because of injuries.

He had 55 saves in 2017-2018 with the Milwaukee Brewers and the Dodgers felt he was close to returning to that level of effectiveness.

“I feel really bad for Corey because it’s been a long road back and to get a speed bump like this is tough,” Roberts said.

Roberts said reliever Joe Kelly could be ready to come off the injured list by “early to mid-May. The right-hander has had lingering shoulder soreness since spring training.

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Glendora High product DJ Peters reflects on his eyeblink Dodgers debut

Dodgers outfielder DJ Peters plays against the Angels in the Freeway Series on March 30 at Dodger Stadium.
(Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

DJ Peters’ first major league at-bat ended in an eyeblink when he rolled over the first pitch from Padres reliever Nick Ramirez to third baseman Manny Machado with two out in the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 6-1 loss Friday.

Game over, career launched.

His appreciation for the moment was palpable Saturday when Peters spoke to the media. He grew up in Glendora, attended his first Dodgers game at age 7, and counted Shawn Green as his favorite player.

“I’ve been working my entire life for that moment,” he said. “I’m very grateful, very blessed and trying to soak it all in.”

Peters, an outfielder who has hit 92 home runs in four minor league seasons, will never forget dressing in the clubhouse before the game.

“When I put on that beautiful white jersey with Dodgers across my chest, that was the moment it hit me,” he said.

About 15 family members and friends attended the game. “That’s something I dreamed of, having my parents and my wife here for my first game,” he said.

Peters had been working out at the Dodgers’ alternate site at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. He said the minor leaguers there have been playing games against Padres minor leaguers for the last three weeks.

Two nights ago he’d taken his dog outside to relieve itself when the phone rang. “You’re going to L.A. in the morning,” Dodgers triple-A manager Travis Barbary told him.

“I called my wife, then called my dad,” he said. “It was very emotional but also very exciting. The time is now, the time to get to work is now.”

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Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Padres on Saturday

Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer warms up before a game against the Colorado Rockies on April 13.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

After starting the season 13-2, the Dodgers enter Saturday having lost four of their last five games, with three of those losses coming against the San Diego Padres.

Trevor Bauer gets the start for the Dodgers. The prized offseason acquisition has pitched at least six innings in his four starts and has given up three runs, four walks and seven hits over 19 2/3 innings.

Bauer’s most recent start was a no-decision against the Padres on Sunday when he allowed one run in seven innings opposite Padres starter Blake Snell, who will take the bump again on Saturday.

Snell has walked at least two batters in each of his four starts for San Diego and hasn’t thrown at least six innings since July 21, 2019, when he played for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Dodgers vs. Padres line for April 24, 2021
(VSIN)

The Padres lead the National League in bullpen ERA despite throwing 8 1/3 more innings than any other bullpen in MLB. The team’s 7-2 road record in the best in the league.

Before their series with the Padres, the Dodgers had not dropped a game at home all season. Both have played to the under often with 13 of the Dodgers’ 20 games going under the total and 15 of the Padres’ 22 games going under.

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The stage was set for a Padres meltdown in L.A. They stole the spotlight instead

Highlights from the Dodgers’ 6-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday.

Yu Darvish was booed.

Fernando Tatis Jr. was booed louder.

Manny Machado was booed so loud the sparsely filled Dodger Stadium shook.

On a perfect Friday night for a yellow-and-brown meltdown, the San Diego Padres showed up hunted and haunted.

Darvish was returning to the scene of his 2017 World Series collapse.

“Darvish, you dog!”

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Fernando Tatis Jr. mimics dad, powers Padres past Dodgers

Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning — his second home run of the game — during a 6-1 win over the Dodgers on Friday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Fernando Tatis was a pretty good ballplayer. He bounced among five major league teams. He never made an All-Star team. He was traded for the likes of Todd Stottlemyre and Dustin Hermanson.

But he earned the distinction of a career in one night, in a game not fondly remembered by Dodgers fans. On April 23, 1999, Tatis hit two grand slams in one inning at Dodger Stadium, both off Chan Ho Park.

Three months earlier, Tatis had welcomed a son into the family. The son was named Fernando Jr. He grew up to be a spectacularly good ballplayer, so good his signature is the one on the longest contract in baseball history.

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Padres score three more runs to defeat Dodgers 6-1

The Dodgers’ snake-bitten offense wasn’t up to mounting a rally after giving up three runs in the ninth to lose 6-1 to the San Diego Padres.

Tommy Pham started things off by driving in Wil Myers from second on a single off Dennis Santana before Jurickson Profar drove in Jake Cronenworth after grounding out into a 4-6-3 double play. One more run crossed the plate when Fernando Tatis Jr. singled in Pham.

From there, Nick Ramirez retired the Dodgers in order in the bottom half of the inning as the Padres improved to 12-10 and the Dodgers fell to 14-6 on the season.

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Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel leaves with apparent injury in the ninth

Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel left the field with a team trainer after walking Wil Myers in the ninth inning.

Knebel grimaced on his final pitch and walked around the mound quickly before manager Dave Roberts and a team trainer visited him on the mound. He then walked to the dugout and into the tunnel toward the clubhouse.

Dennis Santana will take over on the mound for the Dodgers, who trail 3-1 in the ninth with one out.

Knebel, who hadn’t pitched in six days, has appeared in nine games for the Dodgers. The right-hander didn’t play in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery while with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Dodgers trail Padres 3-1 heading into the ninth

The Dodgers’ offensive woes continue in the eighth, with Padres reliever Drew Pomeranz retiring Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Max Muncy in order.

In the top half of the inning, Dodgers reliever Jimmy Nelson got out of the inning on 11 pitches after Manny Machado grounded out into a 5-4-3 double play.

Will the Dodgers’ dormant offense go from sleeper to heroic in the ninth?

End of eighth: Padres 3, Dodgers 1

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Manny Machado stymies Dodgers’ hopes in the seventh

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado makes a leaping grab on a scorcher hit by Mookie Betts to squash the Dodgers’ best chance of scoring a run since the first inning.

Dodgers rookie Luke Raley laid down a bunt down the third-base side for a single before Padres starter Yu Darvish walked Austin Barnes. Darvish then struck out pinch hitter Sheldon Neuse before Betts lined out to end the inning.

Outside of giving up three solo home runs, Clayton Kershaw looked strong in his final inning on the mound. He struck out the Padres in order on 10 pitches in the seventh. He gave up five hits, including three solo home runs, and struck out seven. Jimmy Nelson will take over in relief and Drew Pomeranz will replace Darvish in the eighth.

Since the first inning, Dodgers batters have gone 2 for 20 at the plate with nine strikeouts.

End of the seventh: Padres 3, Dodgers 1

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Yu Darvish strikes out Dodgers in order in the sixth

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish celebrates after striking out Dodgers first baseman Edwin Rios.
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish celebrates after striking out Dodgers first baseman Edwin Rios to end the sixth inning Friday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Clayton Kershaw opened the sixth by striking out Manny Machado for his fourth strikeout of the game before getting Eric Hosmer to ground out to first.

Kershaw then walked Wil Myers, who took second after a pick-off attempt at first by Kershaw turned into an error by Corey Seager after he dropped a throw from first baseman Edwin Ríos. But it didn’t end up costing the Dodgers — Jake Cronenworth popped out to left field to strand Myers.

In the bottom of the sixth, Padres starter Yu Darvish struck out Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Edwin Ríos. The Dodgers have scored runs in only three of the last 27 innings.

End of sixth: Padres 3, Dodgers 1

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Fernando Tatis Jr. hits his second home run to give Padres 3-1 lead

Fernando Tatis Jr. continues to make Clayton Kershaw pay for his mistakes.

The San Diego Padres star hit his second home run of the game — a 116-mph shot to the right of the left-field foul pole —to give the Padres a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning.

Kershaw has given up three solo home runs tonight after going 122 at-bats without giving up a homer.

As mentioned previously following his first home run, it comes on the 22nd anniversary of Fernando Tatis Sr. hitting two grand slams in one inning at Dodger Stadium off Chan Ho Park. Whatever Tatis Jr. or the Padres did to get him out of his hitting slump seems to be working.

In the bottom half, Clayton Kershaw led off with a single, but he was gunned out retreating to first after Tommy Pham made a great sliding catch on popup to shallow left field by Mookie Betts. Pham quickly got up and threw to first to beat Kershaw, who didn’t tag up before the catch. Corey Seager then popped out to short.

End of fifth: Padres 3, Dodgers 1

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After falling short with Atlanta, Mark Melancon tries to topple Dodgers with San Diego

Padres closer Mark Melancon is congratulated by catcher Victor Caratini.
Padres closer Mark Melancon, right, is congratulated by catcher Victor Caratini after a win over the Atlanta Braves on April 1.
(Denis Poroy / Associated Press)

On Oct. 12, 2020, Mark Melancon finished off the Dodgers. On Oct. 13, he did it again.

For all the hype about how last year’s Dodgers were unbeatable and this year’s Dodgers might be the best team ever, Melancon and his Atlanta Braves were one victory from killing those story lines.

After Melancon saved Game 2 of last year’s National League Championship Series, the Braves led the series 2-0. Two days later, the Braves led the series 3-1, and the Dodgers were one defeat from elimination.

You know the rest of the story. If not, well, there is a giant trophy behind center field at Dodger Stadium.

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Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw retire batters in order in the fourth

The Dodgers continue to struggle offensively, with AJ Pollock, Luke Raley and Austin Barnes going down in order.

In the top half, Clayton Kershaw retired the Padres in order on nine pitches. He’s at 45 pitches so far.

End of fourth: Padres 2, Dodgers 1

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Fernando Tatis Jr. homers to give Padres 2-1 lead over Dodgers

San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. makes contact against the Dodgers in the first inning Friday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a monster home run off Clayton Kershaw deep into the left-field pavilion to give the Padres a 2-1 lead in the third inning.

Tatis’ 431-foot blast was his fourth homer of the season. Both of the Padres’ runs tonight have come off solo home runs. The home run also comes on the 22nd anniversary of his father’s two-grand slam inning at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw managed to retire the next three Padres batters in order to get out of the inning.

In the top of the inning, Mookie Betts took a pitch off his right elbow and, after taking a brief moment on his knee at home plate, waved off the team trainer and trotted to first. He then stole second and took third after ball four in the dirt to Max Muncy got away from catcher Victor Caratini. But that’s as far as he advanced. Yu Darvish got Edwin Ríos to look at three consecutive strikes for the final out.

End of third: Padres 2, Dodgers 1

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Padres’ Wil Myers ties game 1-1 with solo home run in second inning

San Diego Padres right fielder Wil Myers led off the second inning with a first-pitch home run off Clayton Kershaw to tie the game 1-1.

Myers’ 401-foot blast to right field was his fourth home run of the season.

Kershaw struck out Jake Cronenworth on the next at-bat before Tommy Pham lined out and Victor Caratini filed out to center field.

In the bottom half of the inning, Padres starter Yu Darvish hit Luke Raley with a pitch, but struck out AJ Pollock and got Austin Barnes to foul out before setting up another showdown with Clayton Kershaw.

Last week, Darvish issued a bases loaded walk to Kershaw and got into a full court against Kershaw before striking him out with his eighth pitch of the at-bat.

End of second: Dodgers 1, Padres 1

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Max Muncy drives in Mookie Betts to give Dodgers 1-0 lead

Max Muncy drove in Mookie Betts from third base on a single to right-center field to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Betts led off the inning with a standup double down the left field line and advanced to third on a groundout by Corey Seager. Justin Turner walked before Muncy got the Dodgers’ second hit of the game off Padres starter Yu Darvish.

On the next at-bat, Edwin Ríos grounded out in to a 6-3 double play perfectly executed by Fernando Tatis Jr.

End of first: Dodgers 1, Padres 0

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Dodgers call up DJ Peters, put Zach McKinstry on injured list

Dodgers outfielder DJ Peters
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers called up outfielder DJ Peters and put utilityman Zach McKinstry on the injured list.

Peters, 25, the Dodgers’ fourth-round draft pick in 2016, played at Glendora High. He has not played in the major leagues.

The Dodgers listed McKinstry’s injury as a right oblique strain. Such strains can take weeks to heal. When the Dodgers scratched McKinstry from Thursday’s lineup, they initially called the injury back stiffness.

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Zach McKinstry could head to injured list

Zach McKinstry hits against the Colorado Rockies on April 4.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Zach McKinstry, the Dodgers’ utilityman turned breakout star, could be headed to the injured list, manager Dave Roberts said Friday.

McKinstry injured his back during batting practice Thursday, Roberts said, and he remained unable to swing a bat Friday.

“You don’t want a week or two-week thing to turn into a four-week thing,” Roberts said.

Chris Taylor, who was also scratched from Thursday’s lineup because of back stiffness, is feeling better and is considered day to day.

McKinstry is batting .296, with three home runs in 17 games.

On Friday, with Taylor and McKinstry out, Max Muncy started at second base, with Edwin Ríos at first base.

The Dodgers had outfielder Luke Raley take ground balls at first base before the game. Roberts said they had second baseman/third baseman Sheldon Neuse work out there in spring training.

“Just having guys mess around can only help,” Roberts said.

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Sheldon Neuse is having a ball. His dad is getting a ball.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Sheldon Neuse (56) celebrates his solo home run with Edwin Rios (43) during the seventh inning.
Sheldon Neuse (56) celebrates his solo home run with Edwin Rios during the seventh inning of Thursday’s game.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Sheldon Neuse is 26. He played his first minor league game in 2014. He played his first major league game in 2019.

On Thursday, four months into 2021, he hit his first major league home run. He got the ball, but he is not planning on keeping it.

“I’m actually going to give it to my dad,” Neuse said Friday, “that and the lineup card. I’ve got the first-hit ball. But I’m going to give the homer to my dad and let him put it in his game room.”

Neuse’s primary positions are second base and third base, but he wasn’t about to play ahead of Matt Chapman in Oakland. The A’s traded him to the Dodgers for reliever Adam Kolarek in February.

“Playing in front of, and with, these guys is an honor,” Neuse said. “A lot of big names. Just try to come in and fit in and try to help the team win. Definitely getting more comfortable each and every day here.”

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Dodgers vs. Padres starting lineup for Friday’s game

Los Angeles Dodgers' Edwin Rios is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run.
Edwin Ríos is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run against the Oakland Athletics on April 6.
(Jed Jacobsohn / Associated Press)

Here is the starting lineup for Friday’s game between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PDT.

Max Muncy will be playing at second baseball and in the cleanup spot, and Edwin Ríos will be playing at first and batting fifth.

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The five best quotes from Yu Darvish’s recent L.A. Times interview, in handy meme form

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12.
(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Yu Darvish has every right to be bitter, but he’s not.

The former Dodgers pitcher holds no grudges against the Houston Astros, who may (or may not) have been cheating during his disastrous outings during Games 3 and 7 of the 2017 World Series. Darvish told The Times’ Dylan Hernández this week that he should have pitched better during that series, regardless of any possible shenanigans on the other side.

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Yu Darvish has a message for Dodgers fans: He will not be offended by your boos

Yu Darvish delivers a pitch for the Padres against the Dodgers.
Yu Darvish will start for the San Diego Padres against the Dodgers on Friday.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Yu Darvish was navigating San Diego traffic this week when he cracked a joke over his car’s speaker phone system about how he’d prefer to not be booed too loudly at Dodger Stadium.

Actually, he was told, there’s a good chance he’ll receive a warm welcome there when he takes the mound for the Padres on Friday in the second game of their four-game series.

“Really?” he asked.

Darvish sounded genuinely surprised.

The former Dodger was booed two years ago when he returned to Chavez Ravine with the Chicago Cubs. Of course, that was before it was revealed the Houston Astros were stealing signs throughout the 2017 season, including during the World Series in which Darvish was crushed in his Game 3 and 7 losses for the Dodgers.

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Nail-biters have become the norm for evenly matched Dodgers and Padres

Dodgers left fielder AJ Pollock, left, makes a leaping catch at the warning track in front of teammate Mookie Betts.
Dodgers left fielder AJ Pollock, left, makes a leaping catch at the warning track in front of teammate Mookie Betts on Thursday.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers and San Diego Padres have played 39 innings of riveting baseball this season and have been separated by two runs or fewer in 36 of those innings.

The National League West rivals have been within one run of each other in the eighth inning of all four games they’ve played, the three-game series in San Diego last weekend and Thursday night’s opener of a four-game set in chilly Chavez Ravine, where the Padres held on for another nail-biter of a 3-2 victory.

“We’re pretty evenly matched,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Every one of these games could have gone either way.”

The teams played 12 innings last Friday in Petco Park, the Dodgers busting out with five 12th-inning runs for an 11-6 win after both teams escaped harrowing jams in the 10th and 11th innings.

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Struggling Dodgers get a boost from Sheldon Neuse in loss to Padres

Sheldon Neuse hits his first career major-league home run during the Dodgers' loss.
Sheldon Neuse hits his first career major-league home run during the Dodgers’ loss to the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

The Dodgers managed to get one hit in six innings against the Padres on Thursday — a single by pitcher Walker Buehler — and they were held scoreless for 5 2/3 innings by left-hander Ryan Weathers — who is rapidly becoming a formidable foe — but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chose to look at the later, more productive at-bats his players put together in their 3-2 loss to San Diego at Dodger Stadium.

“On the offensive side, I’m not too concerned,” Roberts said.

In their last three games the Dodgers batted .143 (13 for 91). They’ve struck out 26 times, they’ve gone three for 31 with runners in scoring position, and they’ve left 26 runners on base. They’ve lost three of their last four games. Over their last five games, against the Padres and the Seattle Mariners, the Dodgers are batting .126 (19 for151) and have struck out 53 times.

Still not worried, Dave?

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How the Giants could foil the Dodgers, or help the Padres do it

San Francisco Giants players celebrate after defeating the Miami Marlins on Thursday.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

There is only one major league team that has a better record than the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers, of course.

Are the Giants for real? Can Buster Posey (.989 OPS) and Evan Longoria (.973 OPS) continue to be nourished by the fountain of youth? Can the San Francisco starting rotation maintain its 2.56 earned-run average?

And, if the Giants fade, can they foul up the Dodgers’ season anyway? The answer to that is yes, absolutely yes.

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Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Padres on Friday

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish pitches against the Dodgers on Saturday.
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish pitches against the Dodgers on Saturday. Darvish will start Friday.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

The San Diego Padres took the first game of their four-game set with the Dodgers on Thursday to even the season series at 2-2. They will look to improve upon their 6-2 road record Friday when they face Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw has owned the Padres throughout his career, posting a 22-7 record with a 1.99 ERA in 41 starts, the second-most wins he has over any opponent. His last win against the Padres came six days ago. He has thrown a combined 19 innings in his last three starts with just one run and two walks allowed — the total going under in all three games.

The Padres counter with Yu Darvish. He opposed Kershaw on Saturday and took the loss while giving up one run and one hit over seven innings, the lone run coming on a bases-loaded walk to Kershaw. Darvish has given up up approximately one run in each of his past three starts, all of which spanned at least seven innings, and is backed up by a bullpen that leads the National League in ERA at 2.67.

Dodgers line for April 23, 2021.
(VSIN)

Both teams rank in the top five in percentage of games going under this MLB season. The Padres have had 15 of their 21 games under the total while the Dodgers have had 13 of their 19 go under. In the Dodgers’ seven home games, six have been straight up.

VSiN, the Sports Betting Network, offers more expert sports betting content in a free daily email at VSiN.com/email.

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Dodgers lose to Padres, 3-2

The Dodgers' Mookie Betts strikes out to end the game Thursday night.
Mookie Betts strikes out to end the game
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The latest installment in the rivalry between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres, an intense feud that has routinely provided captivating thrills over the last week, came down to a roller-coaster eighth inning in the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

It began with the Padres mustering a run against reliever Blake Treinen on a double play to break a tie in the top of the inning.

Justin Turner then led off the bottom half for the Dodgers with a single off right-hander Nabil Crismatt. Will Smith followed with a flyball that landed down the left-field line, just beyond a diving Jurickson Profar’s reach. The ball was initially called foul, but the Dodgers challenged the play.

The video showed the ball bouncing off the chalk, leaving a brown spot behind, and into the seats. Smith was given a ground-rule double. The crowd roared as Turner and Smith jogged to their stations with no outs. It was the break the struggling Dodgers offense needed.

The Padres replaced Crismatt with left-hander Tim Hill to face the left-handed-hitting Max Muncy. He got Muncy to hit a groundball to second baseman Jake Cronenworth, who was drawn in, and Turner didn’t try scoring.

AJ Pollock then worked a 2-0 count before he was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up the double play. The strategy worked by a few inches.

Sheldon Neuse followed by smashing a 105-mph groundball to Cronenworth, who sprawled to somehow stop the ball on one hop. He recovered to underhand it to second base. Fernando Tatis Jr. corralled it, just kept his foot on the bag and whipped the ball to first base, where Eric Hosmer stretched just far enough to snatch it before Neuse’s foot hit the base.

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Padres take 3-2 lead after eight, turn great double play to end Dodger threat

Padres: Profar singled to left. Caratini singled to center, Profar to third. Tatis Jr. grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, scoring Profar. The ball was hit far to Seager’s right, and he had no chance to get the runner at the plate. The throw barely beat Tatis Jr. to first. Grisham singled to left. This is not Treinen’s night. With Machado batting, Grisham stole second. Machado grounded to second and jogged to first, just like Dodger fans remember.

Dodgers: Turner singled to left. Smith hit ball to left. Profar, playing shaded to center, ran about eight miles, slid and just missed the ball, which bounced in the stands. The ump called it foul, but on review, it clearly hit the line, so Smith was given a double, with Turner going to third. Second and third no out. Left-hander Tim Hill comes in the game to pitch to face the left-handed hitting Max Muncy, who grounded to second with the infield in, so the runners held. Pollock was walked intentionally. Neuse grounded hard to second. Cronenworth lost the ball for a moment, but shoveled to Tatis, who made a great throw to first to turn the double play. All you can do is tip your cap on a play like that.

Score after eight: Padres 3, Dodgers 2

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Dodgers tie it on homers by AJ Pollock and Sheldon Neuse

Padres: Myers popped to third. Cronenworth struck out looking. Campusano struck out swinging. One more strikeout, and free Jumbo Jacks throughout the land.

Dodgers: Emilio Pagan now pitching for the Padres. Vic Caratini now catching, Campusano out of the game in a double switch. Pollock homered to left. Neuse homered to center. Raley singled to center. Edwin Rios, batting for Buehler, flied to deep left. And that’s it for Pagan. Right-hander Nabil Crismatt now pitching. He promptly unleashes a wild pitch, moving Raley to second. Betts flied to left. Seager grounded into the shift to end the inning.

Score after seven: Dodgers 2, Padres 2

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Padres take 2-0 lead on Trent Grisham’s home run

Padres: Tatis Jr. lined to deep center. Grisham homered to DEEP right. It’s 2-0 Padres. Grisham almost hit it out of the stadium. Machado flied to deep center. They seem to have caught up to Buehler. Hosmer lined to center.

Dodgers: Betts flied to deep left. Just missed a homer. Seager hit a hard line drive up the middle that second baseman Cronenworth made a great diving catch on. Dodgers just can’t buy a hit. Turner is up, and they are replacing Weathers with Austin Adams. Why? Pitch count. They want to protect his young arm (he’s 21). Weathers made 89 pitches. Turner walked on five pitches. Smith was hit by a pitch. Muncy struck out swinging.

Score after six: Padres 2, Dodgers 0

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Still 1-0 Padres after five inning

Padres: Campusano grounded to third. Profar struck out swinging. Weathers struck out looking. Buehler has made 77 pitches through five innings.

Dodgers: Neuse flied to center. Raley hit a nubber up the first-base line. The pitcher picked it up but threw it past the first baseman for an error. However, the umps ruled that Raley wasn’t running in the base line and called him out. No error. Buehler grounded to the pitcher. Weathers has made 80 pitches through five innings.

Score after five innings: Padres 1, Dodgers 0

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Manny Machado gives Padres a 1-0 lead

Padres: Tatis Jr. singled to shallow center. Grisham struck out swinging and Tatis Jr. stole second. Machado singled to left-center, scoring Tatis Jr. Hosmer singled to right-center, Machado to second. Myers struck out swinging. Cronenworth fouled to the catcher.

Dodgers: Smith struck out looking. His average is down to .186. Muncy hit one into the hole at second. Machado was playing in shallow right on the shift and threw him out. Pollock struck out swinging.

Score after four: Padres 1, Dodgers 0

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Walker Buehler is throwing harder and striking out more hitters

Walker Buehler
(Associated Press)

Walker Buehler’s fastball velocity was down a tick and his strikeout rate was down significantly through three starts compared to last season.

Both are up Thursday.

Buehler has five strikeouts through four innings — already a season high. All five strikeouts have come on four-seam fastballs at 96 or 97 mph.

The right-hander entered Tuesday with 12 strikeouts in 18 innings over his first three starts. He recorded four strikeouts in each outing.

His four-seam fastball averaged 95.5 mph after averaging 97.2 mph last season. The pitch is averaging 96 mph Thursday, peaking at 97.5 mph.

Buehler’s first three innings were perfect, but the Padres scored a run on three hits in the fourth inning. The three hits — all singles — came on two sliders and a cutter.

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No score after three innings as both pitcher dominant

Padres: Luis Campusano flied to right. Jurickson Profar struck out swinging. Ryan Weathers cued one up the first-base line, and Buehler fielded it for the out.

Dodgers: Walker Buehler singled to right. Dodgers’ first hit since the second inning Monday. Betts struck out looking. Weathers in effectively wild tonight. I’m not sure he knows where the ball is going, but it’s working. Seager fouled to third. Turner grounded to third, forcing Buehler at second.

Score after three: Dodgers 0, Padres 0

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Nothing doing after two innings

Padres: Eric Hosmer grounded to the pitcher. Wil Myers hit the ball a mile high and we waited for it to come down, and waited, and waited. A person on the International Space Station autographed the ball, then dropped it into AJ Pollock glove in left for an out. Jake Cronenworth lined to second.

Dodgers: Max Muncy was hit by a pitch. AJ Pollock flied to deep left. Sheldon Neuse struck out swinging. Luke Raley struck out looking.

Score after two: Dodgers 0, Padres 0

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No score after first inning

Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. struck out swinging. Trent Grisham struck out swinging. Buehler is throwing 97 mph. He is challenging hitters. Manny Machado, who got a lot of boos when he was introduced, grounded to second.

Dodgers: Mookie Betts walked on seven pitches. Corey Seager struck out looking. Justin Turner hit a sharp grounder to third that Machado dove for and stopped, forcing Betts at second. Will Smith flied out to deep center. Going to be hard to hit one out on a cool, overcast night.

Score after one: Dodgers 0, Padres 0

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Flags at Dodger Stadium flying at half-staff to honor former VP Walter Mondale

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Cody Bellinger’s return date from fractured fibula remains unclear

Last Saturday, with the entire baseball world watching, two former MVP winners took centerstage in the Dodgers’ thrilling 2-0 win over the San Diego Padres.

Clayton Kershaw, the 2014 NL MVP, logged six scoreless innings. He even worked a two-out bases-loaded walk against Yu Darvish for the game’s first run. Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP, made an improbable diving catch in right-center field to end the game. The Padres would’ve tied the game if the ball dropped. Betts somehow, by the heel of his glove, made sure they didn’t.

Cody Bellinger, the third former MVP on the Dodgers’ roster, watched with envy. He was on the injured list for the entire series and remained on the injured list with a hairline fracture in his left fibula as the rivals began a four-game series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday.

“It sucked, man, I was actually out there for the first inning or two, and that’s when I realized I shouldn’t be out here because of COVID,” Bellinger said. “But it was a fun atmosphere in San Diego. I wanted to see a game under the lights again. I miss it a lot. I can’t wait to get back to playing again.”

Bellinger won’t return in time to face the Padres this weekend. He doesn’t know when he’ll return. The center fielder has hit and played catch every day since the injury. Running, however, remains uncomfortable. He took a significant step in the right direction before Thursday’s game by taking batting practice on the field for the first time since Oakland Athletics reliever Reymin Guduan stepped on his calf April 5.

“It’s just a slow process,” Bellinger said. “It’s more pain tolerance at this point. I’ve been in the training room, been working out, can’t really do much until the bone heals.”

Initial tests on Bellinger’s leg didn’t reveal any structural damage. He then progressed with on-field activities over the next few days thinking he would return quickly. But, four days later, he was placed on injured. The progress stalled enough for him to undergo further testing the following week. A CT scan showed the fracture.

“Now that we kind of understand what the diagnosis is, it’s helped him move forward a little bit,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I’ve heard it’s been better each day. So just continue to progress. Where that takes us, I don’t want to put a timeline, but certainly seeing him back in a group is a good thing.”

The Dodgers were 9-3 since Bellinger injured the leg entering Thursday. They still owned the best record in the majors and were three games ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. They have had the depth to absorb Bellinger’s absence even as Gavin Lux, Mookie Betts, and Chris Taylor have been in and out of the lineup with injuries.

The team’s success, Bellinger said, has made the last two weeks easier. But he acknowledged it’s been a frustrating time, especially after spending his offseason rehabbing from shoulder surgery and not returning to game action until the middle of March. He was just finding a rhythm at the plate when Guduan stepped on his leg in a race to first in the ninth inning of a blowout win.

Now his days are “extremely boring” as he patiently waits to get on the field again to make big plays in big games.

“I’m just ready to get healthy and play, man,” Bellinger said. “I miss it a lot.”

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Hear from Fernando Valenzuela in the second episode of docuseries “Fernandomania @ 40"

An image from "Fernandomania @ 40"

The second episode of our docuseries, “Fernandomania @ 40" is now live. (That @ is how all the cool kids write “at” nowadays).

Gustavo Arellano and former Dodgers players walk us through Fernando Valenzuela’s journey to Los Angeles, which starts in Mexico, specifically, Etchohuaquila.

For the first time in the series, we hear from Fernando, who walks us through his rise from Mexican leagues to minor league play in San Antonio and later Major League Baseball.

Along the way, he learned his famous pitch, the screwball. While learning how to throw it, he recalls being told: “If you give it some little rotation, I think that’s going to more effective.”

Huge understatement.

You can watch it here.

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Chris Taylor, Zach McKinstry scratched from Thursday’s lineup

The Dodgers lineup for their series opener against the Padres on Thursday, originally posted at 3 p.m., has been changed twice before first pitch because of injury.

The original lineup had Chris Taylor in center field and Zach McKinstry at second base. Both players have been scratched with lower back stiffness.

Taylor was scratched first, just before 4:30 p.m. Mookie Betts was moved from right field to center field, McKinstry was moved from second base to right field, and Sheldon Neuse was inserted at second base.

McKinstry was scratched about 90 minutes later. Luke Raley replaced him in right field and will bat eighth against Padres left-hander Ryan Weathers.

Taylor was on the field taking groundballs at shortstop after he was scratched. McKinstry had been on the field earlier.

Here’s the new lineup:

Betts CF
Seager SS
Turner 3B
Smith C
Muncy 1B
Pollock LF
Neuse 2B
Raley RF
Buehler P

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Gavin Lux to check final box this weekend before return; updates on Joe Kelly and Tony Gonsolin