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Dodgers fall to Padres on 10th-inning sacrifice fly as San Diego does ‘beat L.A.’

The Padres' C.J. Abrams scores the winning run on Austin Nola's sacrifice fly. Dodgers catcher Will Smith is at right.
The Padres’ C.J. Abrams scores the winning run on Austin Nola’s 10th-inning sacrifice fly Saturday night. With its 3-2 win, San Diego ended a 10-game skid against the Dodgers.
(Derrick Tuskan / Associated Press)
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The first time the chant rained down at Petco Park on Saturday night, the Dodgers quieted the crowd.

“Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!”

That’s what San Diego Padres fans screamed in the top of the eighth inning, with their team trying to protect a two-run lead, and their closer on the mound attempting to secure a five-out save.

Then, with runners on the corners, Trea Turner came to the plate and laced a tying double to left field.

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When the chant returned in the bottom of the ninth — more screams of “Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!” showering Padres shortstop C.J. Abrams with a runner on first and two outs — the Dodgers quelled the celebration again, with reliever Daniel Hudson fanning Abrams with a slider to send the game to extra innings.

Fans write that Trevor Bauer, the Dodgers pitcher on leave during a sexual assault investigation, too often still grabs headlines (like this one).

But then in the bottom of the 10th, the brown and yellow swaths of a split 44,444-person crowd began the chant again, spurred on by a video board graphic and accompanying drum beat over the stadium speakers.

This time, the Padres delivered. Pinch-hitter Trent Grisham bunted Abrams — who started the inning at second base as the automatic runner — to third. Austin Nola brought him home with a walk-off sacrifice fly to left.

The Padres beat the Dodgers 3-2.

And more “Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!” chants carried on into a San Diego night.

The Padres' Austin Nola, second from right, is congratulated by Eric Hosmer, left, after driving in the winning run.
The Padres’ Austin Nola, second from right, is congratulated by Eric Hosmer, left, after driving in the winning run on a 10th-inning sacrifice fly.
(Derrick Tuskan / Associated Press)

Though the Dodgers (10-4) pushed the game into extras, Saturday was all about missed chances.

Early on, Padres starter Yu Darvish appeared to be on the ropes, facing a bases-loaded situation in the second inning with his pitch count already approaching 50.

But with two outs, Darvish got Mookie Betts to swing through a cutter to retire the side. After that, the right-hander retired 12 in a row to complete a scoreless six-inning outing.

The Dodgers fell to the San Diego Padres in 10 innings despite a stellar effort by the bullpen. All it took was a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly.

“We stressed him the first two innings,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Just couldn’t get that big hit.”

Tyler Anderson, meanwhile, pitched decently for the Dodgers in his first start of the year, taking the place of injured Andrew Heaney in the team’s rotation.

In 4 2/3 innings, the left-hander gave up two runs, four hits and three walks with four strikeouts. His only blemishes: a sacrifice fly from Wil Myers in the second and a solo home run from Jake Cronenworth in the third.

Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson delivers in the second inning at Petco Park.
Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson delivers in the second inning at Petco Park. In 4⅔ innings, the left-hander gave up two runs.
(Derrick Tuskan / Associated Press)

After Anderson exited, a parade of relievers blanked the Padres (10-6) to keep the game close, setting up Turner’s double in the eighth off Padres closer Taylor Rogers.

After that, however, the Dodgers squandered more opportunities to take the lead. With two aboard in the top of the ninth, Chris Taylor rolled into an inning-ending double play.

Then in the top of the 10th, Taylor ran into an out on the bases, getting tagged at third after trying to tag up from second — where he began the inning as the automatic runner — on a fly ball hit to Jurickson Profar in left.

“It was a good baseball play,” Roberts said, approving of Taylor’s decision. “You got to give Profar credit, he made a perfect throw.”

There were other empty performances up and down the lineup. A night after hitting two home runs to snap an early season skid, Betts went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts for only the third time in his career.

“Seemed like every situation, I was up and I failed,” Betts said. “I let us down. But gotta be ready for tomorrow.”

Max Muncy and Justin Turner also each went 0 for 4, continuing their own struggles. As a team, the Dodgers were just one for seven with runners in scoring position.

The Dodgers' Trea Turner connects for a two-run double in the eighth inning April 23, 2022.
The Dodgers’ Trea Turner connects for a two-run double that tied the score in the eighth inning.
(Derrick Tuskan / Associated Press)

“One part of the equation is give yourself opportunities, create traffic, and we do a pretty good job of that,” Roberts said. “But the other part is finishing an inning, and I just think that this entire year we haven’t done as good of a job as we’re capable of.”

Indeed, it all set the stage for Nola’s winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th, which snapped the Padres’ 10-game losing streak to the Dodgers stretching to last season, and gave their fans one more chance to chant on their way out of the stadium.

“Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!”

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