Padres comeback in 8-7 extra-inning slugfest vs. Dodgers

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Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In their first game at Chavez Ravine this season, the San Diego Padres brought the fight against the class of the National League. 

Entering a big series against the division rival Dodgers, the Padres’ offense had been rather inconsistent over their last six games.

If the offense will show up as they did tonight, then the Padres and their fans will most certainly be satisfied. 

San Diego’s bats came alive early against Dodgers starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto, with a two-run homer by Manny Machado putting the Padres up 2-0. Machado hit only .234 against the Dodgers last season but has two home runs and five runs batted in against L.A. this season.

Ha-Seong Kim hit his first home run of the season off a Yamamoto fastball in the second inning to plate the Padres’ third run of the game. That would be everything the Padres would get off Yamamoto, who would record six strikeouts over five innings. 

Michael King made his first start against the Dodgers and had an up-and-down outing.

King gave up a home run to Shohei Ohtani in the bottom of the first to make it a 2-1 ballgame, and after the Kim home run in the top of the second, King had a rough second inning. Max Muncy led off the inning with a line drive home run to right field to make the score 3-2, and after a walk between two outs, Gavin Lux rolled over a ground ball to second base that kicked off the heel of Xander Bogaerts’ glove.

As Padres fans know, giving free outs to the Dodgers usually does not end well. That would once again be the case, as Mookie Betts hit a King two-seamer into the left field seats to make it 5-3 Dodgers. When the inning looked like it would escalate further, with a 104.9 mph line drive off the bat of Ohtani, Jackson Merrill made a diving catch at the wall. 

The Dodgers would add on once more with a Teoscar Hernandez two-run home run, making it 7-3 in favor of the home team.

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King would last five innings, allowing seven runs (four earned) on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Despite the deficit, however, as we’ve seen so far early this season, these aren’t your ordinary Padres. Jake Cronenworth hit his third homer of the season in the sixth off right-hander (and former Padre) Daniel Hudson to bring the game within three runs. Following a 1-2-3 inning by Stephen Kolek, the Padres would continue to chip away against the Dodger bullpen.

Jackson Merrill walked, and Tyler Wade singled with one out in the seventh, bringing up the tying run. Xander Bogaerts then hit a ground ball to third, but with the hit-and-run on, the Padres made it 7-5, now with two outs. That brought up Fernando Tatis Jr, and to the dismay of the home crowd, Tatis launched a game-tying home run to center field, knotting the game up at 7-7. 

The bullpens did their job to keep the game tied through the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings, both teams working their way out of jams through the scoreless frames. Yuki Matsui would toss a scoreless seventh, Wandy Peralta would record four big outs in the eighth and ninth, with Tom Cosgrove retiring Shohei Ohtani and striking out Freddie Freeman to end the ninth. Enyel De Los Santos and Robert Suarez would combine to hold the Dodgers off the scoreboard in the tenth. 

The Padres struck again in the top of the eleventh inning. With two outs and Jose Azocar on second as the automatic runner, Jackson Merrill came through for the Friars, lacing a run-scoring single to left field off Alex Vesia to make the score 8-7 Padres. 

Robert Suarez would return to the mound in the bottom of the eleventh, and would retire the first two batters on a popout and groundout to first base. With two outs and a runner 90 feet away, Mookie Betts stepped up to the plate and hit a fly ball to center field, which landed in the glove of Merrill to end the game with a final score of 8-7 Padres. 

The Padres look to keep the bats going tomorrow night in Los Angeles. Game time is set for 6:10 pm Pacific time, with Matt Waldron on the mound for San Diego.

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