Petco Park- San Diego, California
Jake Cronenworth had been quiet against the Los Angeles Dodgers coming into the Padres’ current series with their NL West foes. In seven games previously against the Dodgers for Cronenworth in 2021, he managed an underwhelming 4-for-28 with one home run and one RBI.
That has changed quickly in the first two games of this June series for the versatile Cronenworth. In eight at-bats, he has two home runs, including a two-run shot tonight to put the Padres up 2-0 in the first inning, a bulk of the scoring in tonight’s 3-2 Padres’ victory.
Cronenworth also has a double and five RBIs in the two games, setting the tone for the offense so far.
Blake Snell, the Padres’ starter Tuesday night, was in need of a good start after giving up ten earned runs in his previous two outings. That is exactly what Snell gave San Diego in a big spot. In five innings of work, Snell struck out five while working around three walks and four hits.
Asked about his team’s performance, Snell said, “It feels good. Any time you beat LA in a packed house, it’s a good feeling.”
It was a gritty performance for Snell, who got himself out of jams three separate times in which he had multiple runners aboard and escaped without allowing a run.
“I felt really strong to start. As the game went on, I got a little tired but just found a way to get through it,” answered Snell about his five innings of scoreless work.
Once the decision was made for Snell’s night to end after 99 pitches through five, manager Jayce Tingler put Ha-Seong Kim in to pinch-hit. Kim, who had left Monday night’s game due to a finger injury sustained on a ground ball hit to him at second base, did what he has been doing for the last four days.
Down with an 0-2 count against Dodger’s starter Clayton Kershaw, Kim waited back on a curveball (which had fooled him badly earlier in the at-bat) and drove a towering home run into the left-field seats to put the Padres up 3-0.
Kershaw, for his part, had a solid outing for the Dodgers. In six innings of work, the lefty struck out seven while walking two and giving up the three runs on two Padres’ home runs.
Out of the Padres’ pen, Nabil Crismatt had a strong performance, going 2.2 innings and striking out three. After scoreless innings in the 6th and 7th innings, Crismatt was sent back out for the 8th. The first three batters reachers for Los Angeles, making for a tense moment at Petco Park.
Crismatt then got Dodgers’ catcher Will Smith, up with the bases loaded and nobody out, to ground into a double play to third baseman Manny Machado who forced Justin Turner out of the base-path and threw to second for the force.
“Throughout the night, we made some big plays, but Manny, just what he continues to do defensively is just next level,” said Tingler about the important double play.
That would be the night for Crismatt, giving up the single run on the double play, which cut the Padres’ lead to 3-1.
Following Crismatt, rookie Mason Thompson, just up from Triple-A El Paso, made his Major League debut and wiggled the Padres out of the jam, keeping the 3-1 lead intact.
The 3-2 victory for San Diego now gives them six consecutive wins on their current homestand, which began with the team’s first home game with a full-capacity crowd since 2019.
The Padres have now won six of nine games played against the Dodgers in 2021, with a chance for the sweep tomorrow.
The win also gives the Padres a series win over Los Angeles, with the series finale Wednesday at 7:10 PM. Former Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer (7-5, 2.45 ERA) will take the mound for the Dodgers against San Diego native Joe Musgrove (4-6, 2.28 ERA) for the Padres.