Los Angeles, California
The Padres faced a tall task in Dodgers starter Dustin May, who had dominated the Friars last week to the tune of eight strikeouts in six innings.
For the majority of the night, May kept Padres hitters off-balance, but a few slip-ups gave the Padres just enough.
On San Diego’s side of pitching, it was a bullpen day, giving the starting rotation an extra day of rest. Luis Perdomo made his first start since June 9 of last year. Things got dicey quickly for the right-hander, as the first three Dodgers hitters reached base, giving L.A. an early 1-0 lead on a Cody Bellinger single.
That would be all the Dodgers would get.
Perdomo was removed after dancing out of danger in the first inning in favor of Matt Strahm, who worked two flawless innings.
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) August 11, 2020
Cal Quantrill became the third Padres pitcher of the night and quickly got in a jam in the fourth inning, as he hit Chris Taylor with a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. He got Matt Beaty to strikeout before Edwin Rios lined a ball to Eric Hosmer, who pounced on it for an unassisted double play, getting San Diego out of serious danger.
Quantrill settled down to twirl three innings of scoreless relief before turning the ball over to Craig Stammen. Stammen also worked himself into trouble in the seventh as he walked two but stranded the runners at the corners. Manager Jayce Tingler showed immense faith in the veteran by not pulling him before facing the slugging Joc Pedersen, whom he retired to end the inning.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 11, 2020
The Padres were able to muster two runs off of the talented young May, the first coming in the fifth when Austin Hedges launched his first home run of 2020, tying the game at one apiece.
In the sixth, Grisham, who had a tough-luck night recording outs on two well-struck balls to the wall, worked a walk, and then Tommy Pham worked a free pass as well. Hosmer, still thin and regaining his strength after battling illness, lined a base hit into left, which scored Grisham and gave the Friars a slim 2-1 lead.
Late in the game, the Padres bullpen passed every test. Emilio Pagan worked a flawless eighth despite facing the menacing trio of Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner.
Tingler opted for Drew Pomeranz in the ninth inning in favor of All-Star closer Kirby Yates. After the game, the Padres skipped revealed Yates was experiencing soreness, which caused Tingler to use Pomeranz for the save situation.
The lefty rewarded the rookie manager for his trust, retiring the Dodgers in order and giving the Friars the slim 2-1 victory in Game 1 of a big four-game set in Los Angeles.
The win pushes the Padres to 10 wins at 10-7, firmly in a playoff spot with the new format. Only Wil Myers did not reach base among the starting lineup for the Friars, as Fernando Tatis Jr. extended his on-base streak of 2020 to 17 games, reaching in each game thus far.
This win is enormous given the Padres had a bullpen day against a very good, young starter from the opposite dugout. The series continues Tuesday night when Garrett Richards takes the hill against Ross Stripling.