The Los Angeles Dodgers went into Thursday night’s game against the San Diego Padres, having won 37 of their last 51 home games against San Diego. Unfortunately for the Padres, the trend continued in the first game of their highly anticipated four-game series with the Dodgers.
In Los Angeles for the first time in 2022, the Padres dropped game one 3-1 with their ace Joe Musgrove on the mound. Coming off the worst start of his 2022 season, allowing six runs on seven hits against the Phillies last week, Musgrove bounced back to have a solid outing in the loss.
Musgrove struck out ten and walked only one in seven innings of work but also failed to retire Justin Turner in three at-bats. Turner had a huge night for the Dodgers, going 3-for-3 off of Musgrove, including a solo home run in the second inning and then a two-run home run in the seventh inning that was the difference in the game.
“I thought he pitched great. He’s our best guy. He just had trouble with one guy tonight. Tip your hat to Turner, but Joe pitched great,” said Padres manager Bob Melvin after the game regarding Musgrove’s performance and Turner’s ability to beat the Padres’ ace.
The Padres kicked off the scoring in the first inning thanks to doubles by Manny Machado and Nomar Mazara. That would be all the scoring the Padres could muster on the night, leaving Musgrove with very little room for error. The Dodgers were held in check by Musgrove aside from the always dangerous Turner, but it was not enough to make up for San Diego’s lack of offense.
Machado’s return from an ankle injury was a welcomed sight for the Padres, but it was not enough to spark the offense against a really good Los Angeles pitching staff. Machado had the double in the first and came around to score San Diego’s only run but followed that up with three straight strikeouts.
After Turner tied the game at one with the second inning solo home run, pitching dominated the game on both sides, up until the seventh inning. Musgrove had struck out eight batters through five innings, and the Dodgers escaped some jams thanks to defense and timely pitching. In the seventh inning, however, Musgrove allowed his only walk of the game with one out in the inning. The next hitter was Turner, who was already 2-for-2 with the home run and a sharp single to left field.
Turner took a 1-1 pitch that got too much of the plate over the wall in right-center field and gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead, which would end up being enough for Los Angeles to win the first game of the series and put the Padres 2.5 games back of first place.
The Padres will look to bounce back and tie the series on Friday night, With Blake Snell facing off against Tony Gonsolin. Gonsolin has been dominant in 2022, owning a 9-0 record with a 1.58 ERA. Snell, meanwhile, has been up and down so far after injuries kept him out of the lineup at the beginning of the season. He will look to bounce back and give the Padres a much-needed boost.