With Mookie Betts’ return near, Dodgers set off early fireworks to beat Padres again
It wasn’t Yu Darvish’s worst outing atop the Dodger Stadium mound.
But as the right-hander got rocked Saturday afternoon by his former team, it sure looked similar to a certain November night five years prior.
In the first inning of their 7-2 win over the San Diego Padres, the Dodgers tattooed three home runs against Darvish.
Each one was met by a louder roar from the 47,061 fans and an increasingly enthusiastic reception in the dugout.
Final: Dodgers win 7-2 to take season-high NL West lead
The Dodgers clinched a series win against the San Diego Padres and opened up a season-high lead in the National League West.
With a 7-2 rout of their division rivals, the Dodgers have a 4½-game edge in the standings and will go for a four-game sweep Sunday afternoon.
The Dodgers have won four in a row overall and 12 of their last 17. They are 49-28 on the season.
Final: Dodgers 7, Padres 2
Tyler Anderson completes one-run start as Dodgers extend lead
During the Dodgers’ recent upswing, in which they have gone 9-5 over the last 14 games, the dominance of their starting pitching has been a key factor.
On Saturday, they got more of the same.
This time, it was Tyler Anderson who spun the team’s latest gem, giving up just one run in 6⅓ innings.
The outing lowered his season ERA to 3.09. It also marked the third consecutive game in this four-game series in which the Dodgers’ starter gave up only one run against the Padres’ slumping lineup.
After Anderson’s exit, the Dodgers’ lineup extended the team’s advantage, scoring two runs on three walks and two sacrifice flies.
End 7th: Dodgers lead 7-1
Dodgers still lead but lose Chris Taylor to left foot contusion
The Dodgers still lead 5-0 but did suffer a lose to their lineup at the start of the sixth inning.
After diving for a ball in the fifth inning, Chris Taylor left the game with what the team said was a left foot contusion.
Taylor appeared to be walking gingerly after his diving effort but completed the fifth inning before leaving the game.
Taylor has battled a couple of minor injuries resulting from outfield plays already this year. In May, his arm was shaken up after a collision with the wall. Last month, he was cut by his sunglasses after another crash into the barrier.
The Dodgers didn’t immediately announce the severity of this latest injury.
Mid 6th: Dodgers lead 5-0
Dodgers extend lead against Yu Darvish
The Dodgers have continued to pour it on against their former teammate, tacking on two more runs against Yu Darvish in the second and third innings.
In the second, Gavin Lux reached second on a line-drive double that was dropped by right fielder José Azocar.
In the third, Jake Lamb dropped an RBI double into left field that landed just beyond a diving effort by Jurickson Profar.
Tyler Anderson, meanwhile, is through three scoreless innings on just 39 pitches.
End 3rd: Dodgers lead 5-0
Dodgers jump in front with three first-inning home runs
Freddie Freeman launched a missile. Will Smith lifted a moonshot. Justin Turner stung a line drive.
In the first inning Saturday afternoon, all three ended up in the Dodger Stadium seats, a three home run outburst that lifted the Dodgers to a quick lead over the San Diego Padres.
It’s the third time this season the Dodgers have hit three home runs in an inning.
End 1st: 3-0 Dodgers
Mookie Betts expected back Sunday or Monday from cracked rib
It seems as if the Dodgers won’t be without Mookie Betts for much longer.
The former most valuable player is expected to be activated from the injured list either Sunday or Monday, according to manager Dave Roberts, after Betts came through a session of live batting practice Saturday feeling good.
“I’m ready to get back out there,” Betts said.
Out since June 15 because of a cracked rib, Betts will initially return at second base because he said long throws from the outfield are still bothersome and he didn’t want to be a designated hitter.
“I would like to go straight into playing the field,” Betts said. “I feel like I can help us defensively and we’ve got some pretty good DHs.”
Where Betts will be in the batting order is another question.
Despite hitting Betts in the leadoff spot in all 59 of his starts this year, Roberts said he is still deciding whether he will return Betts to the top spot or keep Trea Turner there.
In Betts’ absence, Turner has hit .339 with an .891 on-base-plus-slugging percentage as the leadoff hitter.
“I’m going to have a conversation with Mookie to make sure that we’re on the same page,” Roberts said. “I could certainly do things unilaterally, as far as the construction of the lineup. But players like Mookie, Trea, I want to have those conversations as well. I think they’ve earned that.”
Roberts added: “Obviously Trea has been thriving in the leadoff spot. But I don’t know, we’re gonna keep having those conversations.”
Turner will be the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter Saturday as the team tries to win its fourth straight game and third in a row against the Padres.
The Dodgers will have Tyler Anderson (8-1, 3.23 ERA) on the mound against Padres right-hander Yu Darvish (7-3, 3.26 ERA).
Here’s the team’s full lineup:
Perfect 10: Tony Gonsolin excels to stay unbeaten as Dodgers defeat Padres
One of the pitchers who started Friday night at Dodger Stadium has already won a Cy Young Award.
In the Dodgers’ 5-1 win over the San Diego Padres, however, it was the other who cemented himself as a strong early contender for this year’s honor.
In perhaps his best start in the big leagues, Tony Gonsolin stole the show in front of 48,076 at Chavez Ravine, giving up just one run in a career-high 7⅔ innings to tighten his grasp on the majors’ best earned-run average.
“He was outstanding tonight,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I thought he had his entire mix working.”
For Dodgers and Dave Roberts, replay challenges this season have been ... a challenge
Dave Roberts initially misunderstood the question.
Asked Friday about his team’s struggles with “challenges” this season, the Dodgers’ manager thought it was in reference to his club’s overall performance, which has tapered off in recent weeks.
When it was clarified that the query was instead about replay challenges, Roberts corrected himself with a sigh.
“Oh, God,” he said. “That challenge?”
Roberts had reason to sound exasperated.
Through the first three months of the season, few managers in baseball have been as bad at getting calls overturned as him.
Entering Friday, Roberts had been successful on only seven out of 20 calls, a rate of 35% that ranked 28th out of 32 major league managers (including interims with the Philadelphia Phillies and Angels).