Los Angeles, California
The Padres had a chance today to split the short series with the Dodgers, but they fell short in a 2-0 loss in LA.
Kenta Maeda was a man on a mission tonight. He threw 85 pitches in just 6.2 innings where the right-hander racked up 12 strikeouts and allowed no walks. The Padres were able to get just three hits against Maeda. However, the pitcher was able to get two of hits of his own off of Matt Strahm.
His first hit, a two-out bloop single that fell in the middle of three Padres allowed two runners in scoring position to cross the plate. Those two runs would be enough for Maeda and the Dodgers to sneak their fourth win against the Padres this season.
Strahm had a pretty solid outing himself. He went five strong innings where he was able to stack five K’s of his own. Despite allowing seven runs and two walks he kept his composure and had the opportunity to get out of the game without allowing a run if it weren’t for Maeda’s unfortunate bloop hit.
The Padres offense was kept at bay all game long by Maeda and the rest of the Dodgers staff. The Padres went 0-3 with runners in scoring position and left six crucial runners on base.
Ty France got on base with no outs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a throwing error by Dodger’s pitcher Scott Alexander. After a Wil Myers strikeout, Manuel Margot grounded into what was sure to be an inning-ending double play, but another Dodger’ error left Margot at first with two outs. That’s when Greg Garcia came to the plate and struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Padres had another chance to get a run or two to cross the plate when Manny Machado forced an eight-pitch walk. This was followed by a shift-beating infield bunt-single by Eric Hosmer who earned his third hit of the night. That bunt put two on with one out and brought Dodger-killer Hunter Renfroe to the plate; he struck out to end the threat.
Alex Dickerson came up as the final batter of the game and struck out looking to end the game, and the Padres were shutout for the first time this season.
The two highest-paid players on the Padres roster were the only men able to get on base today. Machado ripped a double in the fourth inning and had a walk in the ninth. Eric Hosmer had a single in the second, seventh, and bunt-single in the ninth.
The bottom of the order, excluding the pitcher’s spot, went 0-for-18 with eight strikeouts in the last two nights. The inconsistency throughout the lineup continues to haunt the Padres ability to put up runs when it counts.
The Dodgers, who are used to dominating the Padres, have beaten the Friars in four of five games this season. However, it’s the intensity and closeness of these games that seem to be different this season. In those five games, the Dodgers have a plus-run differential of just four runs — all five games were played with Fernando Tatis Jr. on the bench with a hamstring injury.
These two teams meet again in San Diego on the 4th of July.