Petco Park- San Diego, California
The San Diego Padres struggled to take one game from the Boston Red Sox in a three-game set that wrapped this past weekend. A Manny Machado homer in game three of the series sealed the win for the Padres on Sunday afternoon.
Next up for San Diego would be the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
Eric Lauer has had the Dodgers’ number in his brief career. Coming into the game, Lauer was 4-0 in six starts with a 1.72 ERA and a 0.927 WHIP in 36 innings. The left-handed pitcher told reporters last year “Hey it’s the Dodgers, nobody like the Dodgers,” when asked about facing LA and having success. Numbers like this are no fluke, as clearly Lauer takes his game into a new level when facing LA.
The pitcher from Kent State struck out two of the first three batters he faced in working a 1-2-3 first inning.
Rookie Dustin May was on the mound for Los Angeles and “Ginger-gaard” as he is affectionally known, was on his game for the boys in blue. A Justin Turner home run made the score 1-0 Dodgers as the teams headed into the middle innings of the game.
The Padres scrapped together a run on a walk and a single by Eric Hosmer in the bottom of the 4th, but LA responded immediately with two quick hits and a run with the first two batters of the inning. Lauer finished five complete innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits to that point. Rookie Dustin May did not have the same issues with pitch counts as Lauer did, as the Dodgers’ right-hander made it through five complete innings with only 66 pitches thrown.
It looked as though Lauer was done after five innings, but manager Andy Green allowed the pitcher to come out for the top of the 6th even though he was already at 93 pitches for the game. A home run of the bat of Kike Hernandez with one out made the game 3-1 Dodgers. Lauer, for the first time in his career, allowed more than two earned runs to LA. The six hits he allowed on Monday were also a new career-high against the Dodgers. Lauer did not have his “A” game but did make it through 110 pitches and six complete innings to earn a win. He struck out eight in the game and walked four. His season ERA is at 4.48 now. “It was a solid outing for him,” Andy Green said about Lauer after the game.
Austin Allen pinch-hit for Lauer to start the bottom of the 6th and promptly doubled to begin the inning. After a base hit, the Dodgers defense let down the team, as a ball got by Justin Turner on a throw from the centerfielder A.J. Pollock. The error allowed the Padres to plate the tieing and go-ahead run in the inning. After an RBI-groundout from Manny Machado made the score 4-3, Dustin May departed. He made it through 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs.
The 4-3 score held up as Matt Strahm continues to look dominant out of the pen. The lefty went two scoreless innings, only allowing one hit in his 16-pitch effort. “He was huge,” Green told reporters after the game. Kirby Yates came out to pitch the 9th, inning looking for his league-leading 38th save of the year. It would be his third game in a row pitching, but the Padres wasted no opportunity to secure the first game against their hated division rival.
Yates struck out all three batters he faced on 15 pitches and lowered his ERA to 1.33 on the season.