Dodgers spoil no-hit bid, and Padres’ night, with comeback win
The Dodgers entered the sixth inning Tuesday without a hit. By the end of the seventh, they had overturned a two-run deficit and taken the lead.
Behind a two-run single from Corey Seager and two RBIs from AJ Pollock — the team’s hottest hitters coming through in the clutch again — the Dodgers evened their series against the upstart San Diego Padres with a 5-2 win at Petco Park.
Pollock delivered the winning hit, poking a seventh-inning double the other way after entering the game as a pinch-hitter.
“I really wanted to just stay short and try not to hit it at [the first baseman],” Pollock said on a videoconference. “It worked out. I got a pitch to handle … Sometimes it’s tough when you don’t get those calls. Sometimes you let it affect your game. And sometimes you do a better job.”
Fans are banned from the ballparks this COVID-19 season, but the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter allows fan to watch, eat, drink and cheer from afar.
Pollock, who also homered in the ninth to raise his batting average to a team-best .364, said he got only one hour of sleep Monday night after his wife and newborn daughter joined him in San Diego, making Tuesday’s exploits his latest example of balancing life on and off the field.
“As an organization, when you commit to a player and give them a deal for four years, you’ve got to bet on the skillset and also the makeup,” manager Dave Roberts said of Pollock, who is in the second season of a $55-million contract. “AJ’s obviously had a lot of things happen in his life … but he’s found a way to still stay consistent with his work and preparation.”
Before Pollock put the Dodgers in front, it looked like they might waste Dustin May’s longest start of his young career. With an electric sinker-cutter mix, the rookie right-hander allowed only two runs and three hits over six innings while striking out a career-high eight — including Manny Machado on a wicked two-seamer in the first.
“I couldn’t imagine a better pitch on the filth meter,” Roberts said.
May’s take: “I grip it and rip it … I just let the grip do the work.”
However, the Padres’ own hard-throwing right-hander, Dinelson Lamet, was a notch better early on. The 28-year-old needed just 46 pitches to record his first 14 outs and had a no-hitter intact with two outs in the sixth.
But then Lamet plunked Justin Turner on the arm with a two-out, first-pitch sinker to make Turner the club’s all-time leader in being hit by pitches. Turner looked irked as he walked to first and Roberts said afterward he wasn’t convinced the pitch wasn’t intentional.
Nonetheless, it gave the Dodgers an opening. Cody Bellinger broke up the no-no in the next at-bat, squibbing a single through the middle of the infield.
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Seager worked a nine-pitch battle after that, fouling off a tough two-strike slider and laying off two others to make the count full.
Finally, Seager squared up a low sinker — “a good pitcher’s pitch,” Roberts said — into left-center field. Turner scored easily and Bellinger was waved around third after center fielder Trent Grisham bobbled the ball. A relay throw arrived home in time, but catcher Francisco Mejía dropped the ball on the tag, with Bellinger tying the game.
Dodgers three observations:
- Mookie Betts didn’t start for a second straight day because of swelling in his left middle finger. However, the right fielder did enter the game as a defensive substitute and according to Roberts could return to the lineup tomorrow.
- Catcher Austin Barnes was involved in two collisions, getting trucked by Francisco Mejia at a play at home plate in the third and on as a baserunner on a bang-bang play at first.
- Blake Treinen bounced back from his first loss of the season last Friday with a scoreless inning Tuesday, striking out the side after hitting the leadoff batter in the eighth.
Harris reported from Los Angeles.
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