Chavez Ravine- Los Angeles, California
In the proverbial lion’s den of the NL West, where few teams or opposing players for that matter find success at Chavez Ravine outside of AL teams in October, Eric Lauer has found that quiet eye in the middle of the storm.
Lauer’s career against the Dodgers going into Friday night’s matchup opposite Clayton Kershaw has been among the highlights of his brief career to this point including his near complete game shutout towards the end of the 2018 season. Against one of the hottest teams in baseball, Lauer only allowed two runs, one earned across six innings of four-hit ball while walking one and striking out six.
The Padres defense certainly let the southpaw down a handful of times throughout the game from a dropped fly ball by Franmil Reyes to an airmailed throw to center from Francisco Mejia to a couple of poor judgment throws from gold glove first basemen Eric Hosmer that all contributed to either run or running up the pitch count.
As mentioned before, with Padre tormenter Kershaw on the mound, San Diego was already facing an uphill climb, but the team scratched out two runs on five hits over the first seven innings against him. At the spear of the attack was none other than 20-year-old stud Fernando Tatis Jr., who went 2-3 against Kershaw. Hosmer drove in the Padres first run on a line drive double to right center to drive home Lauer, who reached base due to catchers interference. Tied at two runs each going into the top of the eighth inning, “Mr. Clutch” Hunter Renfroe deposited a Yimi Garcia hanging slider into the left-center bleacher seats to give the Padres a 3-2 lead, his 26th home run of the season and MLB leading 14th home run after the sixth inning.
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) July 6, 2019
After getting through the seventh, reliever Craig Stammen set down Justin Turner on a pop out before giving up a bloop base hit to National League MVP candidate Cody Bellinger, setting the stage for the first five out save of the season for All-Star closer Kirby Yates. After breezing through the remainder of the bottom of the 8th, Joc Pederson led off the bottom of the 9th with a hooking fly ball into the right-field corner that saw Renfroe make an extended running catch near the wall. That was the help Yates needed, and the splitter/fastball combo took care of the rest of the ninth inning to break a five-game skid and get the Friars one game closer to .500 and the All-Star break.
Chris Paddack will be looking for redemption on the mound in Los Angeles tomorrow as the Dodgers will send right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda to the mound.