LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jurickson Profar singled and scored the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning. The San Diego Padres opened the second season series in Southern California’s lively baseball rivalry with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.
Trent Grisham homered and had two hits for the Padres, who snapped a three-game skid as they opened a four-game series at chilly Chavez Ravine with the Dodgers‘ first home loss of the season.
Los Angeles took two of three in San Diego last weekend, but the Padres answered with timely hits, strong pitching, and a fantastic inning-ending double play in the eighth, capping yet another well-played matchup between two stacked rosters.
AJ Pollock and Sheldon Neuse hit back-to-back homers leading off the seventh for the major league-leading Dodgers, who have lost three of four after a 13-2 start to the season. With several critical hitters injured, Los Angeles has scored just 10 runs in its last five games.
Manny Machado had an early RBI single for San Diego, but Neuse’s first career homer tied it for Los Angeles, which managed just one hit in the first six innings.
Profar and Victor Caratini singled off Blake Treinen (1-1), leading off the eighth, and Profar put San Diego back ahead on Fernando Tatis Jr.‘s double-play groundout.
Profar then barely failed to make a diving catch on Will Smith’s tailing fly down the left-field line after a long run, putting two Dodgers in scoring position with nobody out in the eighth.
After Max Muncy grounded out and Pollock was intentionally walked to load the bases, Neuse smoked a 105-mph grounder to second baseman Jake Cronenworth, who barely knocked down the ball. San Diego then turned a double play in which both Dodgers were out by minuscule margins, setting off a raucous celebration in the Padres’ dugout. Nabil Crismatt (1-1) finished the seventh for San Diego. Mark Melancon pitched a dominant ninth for his seventh save.
Walker Buehler gave up four hits with a season-high nine strikeouts over seven innings. Still, the Los Angeles ace was narrowly outpitched by impressive Padres rookie Ryan Weathers, who hurled 5 2/3 innings of scoreless, two-hit ball in the 21-year-old’s second major league start.
Both teams entered the series in weeklong offensive slumps, and neither managed a hit until Buehler singled off Weathers in the third. Los Angeles finally got its second hit when Pollock delivered his first homer of the season off Emilio Pagán. Neuse followed with a 399-foot blast to center for his first career homer in his third game up with the Dodgers.
Weathers followed up his first career start last week against the Dodgers with an even more impressive effort, popping his fastball and slider while comfortably handling the champs’ dangerous lineup yet again.
Overall this season, Weathers has yielded two hits and two walks with nine strikeouts to the Dodgers across 9 1/3 scoreless innings – and that number rises to 10 2/3 scoreless innings in his career against Los Angeles, counting his relief appearance in last season’s division series.
Padres: RHP Dinelson Lamet went on the 10-day injured list with right forearm inflammation, and reliever Keone Kela joined him with right shoulder inflammation. Lamet came out of his season debut Wednesday after just two innings. Dodgers: CF Chris Taylor and rookie 2B Zach McKinstry were late scratches from the Dodgers’ starting lineup due to lower back stiffness. … Cody Bellinger still isn’t sure when he’ll return from a hairline fracture in his left leg. He hasn’t played since April 5, but he took batting practice on the field Thursday for the first time since the injury.
Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.19 ERA) faces Yu Darvish (1-1, 2.55) in a rematch of last Saturday’s meeting at Petco Park. After blanking the Padres for six, Kershaw has thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings, while Darvish took the loss against his former teammates despite throwing seven innings of one-hit, one-run ball.