San Diego, California
It was a battle of the bullpens right from the get-go at Petco Park on Wednesday afternoon. Adrian Morejon took the hill for the Padres opposite the Dodgers’ opener Brusdar Graterol. Los Angeles’ opener lasted 1 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers got the scoring started when A.J. Pollock hit his 11th home run of the season, giving L.A. a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. The Padres chased Graterol from the game and quickly responded on an RBI-double by catcher Jason Castro, after Myers doubled with one out, tying the game at one apiece.
Morejon left in the third inning after a batter reached on a Jake Cronenworth error at second, giving way to Dan Altavilla, recently acquired from the Mariners in the Austin Nola deal. The inning continued to unravel for the Padres as Max Muncy lined a double off of Joey Lucchesi, making his first career relief appearance. Then a slow roller was misplayed by Lucchesi, causing another run to score, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
Fernando denies Mookie of a hit. pic.twitter.com/poGc4vte2F
— MLB (@MLB) September 16, 2020
Things came apart for the Friars in the fifth inning. First, Mookie Betts singled and then came around to third on a stolen base and throwing error. Betts stole three bases on the day. After a walk made it runners on first and third and two outs, Will Smith doubled home two runs to extend Los Angeles’ lead to 5-1. Cody Bellinger then singled home Smith to give them a five-run lead against Luis Perdomo.
Garrett Richards came into the game in the sixth inning and promptly surrendered a solo home run to Chris Taylor, extending the Dodgers lead to 7-1.
The Padres struggled to get anything going with the bats for the second consecutive day. They looked fatigued and worn out after an emotional win in Monday’s series opener. After a few relievers, Dustin May shut down the Padres lineup after entering in the third inning. The Padres’ offense sleep-walked into the bottom of the seventh before Jurickson Profar launched his seventh home run of the season, cutting the lead to 7-3.
Profar has been one of the most consistent hitters on the team since mid-August. Since August 11, Profar is batting .320 with a .862 OPS in 32 games.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 16, 2020
In the bottom of the eighth, Manny Machado launched his 14th home run of the season, leaving him one shy of the National League lead in Betts, Tatis, and Adam Duvall. This made it 7-4 as the Padres showed signs of a pulse in the bottom of the eighth.
The Padres used a franchise-record nine pitchers to get through nine innings, emptying the bullpen. Victor Gonzalez entered the ninth inning for the Dodgers to close it down with Kenley Jansen unavailable. After retiring one but hitting Jorge Oña with a pitch, he gave way to Pedro Baez. Profar singled home a run to cut the deficit to two, but the Friars were unable to mount the dramatic comeback and dropped the game and the key series to the Dodgers, 7-5.
Despite the loss, the Padres remain in a good spot, at 32-19 and firmly in second place in the N.L. West. They are seven games ahead of the Giants, who are in third place.
The Friars now head to Seattle to face their American League counterparts for three at T-Mobile Park this weekend after a much-needed day off on Thursday.