Chavez Ravine- Los Angeles, California
For six innings, neither the San Diego Padres or the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to muster up a single run.
Kenta Maeda was shutting down the Padres’ offense while Chris Paddack was slinging strikes and keeping the Dodgers off balance at the plate. With both pitchers cemented in an intense staring contest on the mound, it was inevitable for one to falter first. Fortunately for the Padres, it was Maeda who blinked first.
On a 1-2 count with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Maeda failed to fool Hunter Renfroe with a slider as the Padres right-fielder drilled the pitch 424 feet to straightaway center field. It was his 27th home run off the season and his third against the Dodgers this season.
In his first start against the Dodgers, Paddack only threw 4.2 innings while allowing six runs on five hits. Despite three of those runs being unearned, four of the runs came on two home runs. In his second outing against them, however, The Sheriff reigned in the rowdy Los Angeles lineup, pitching 5.2 innings of shutout baseball while striking out six Dodgers. Los Angeles came dangerously close to scoring in the fifth inning, but a strikeout of Maeda and a groundball off the bat of Joc Pederson got Paddack out of the inning.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) July 7, 2019
Both offenses were neutralized thanks to the pitcher’s duel. Paddack retired the first 11 Dodgers he faced while Maeda, who was a career 6-3 against San Diego with an ERA of 4.13 heading into today’s game, didn’t allow a hit until Francisco Mejia’s fifth-inning bloop single. The Japanese right-hander was efficient with his pitches en route to striking out six batters over 7.2 innings. Despite throwing 101 pitches, Maeda still confounded Padres hitters with a mix of hard sliders and precise fastballs that darted in-and-out of the strike zone.
As previously stated, Renfroe’s blast to straightaway center field put the Padres up 1-0 and broke the scoreless tie. Renfroe only has four hits against the Dodgers this season, but three of them have been home runs for the Padres. This includes the dramatic walk-off grand slam he hit on May 5th off of Kenley Jansen. Going into the eighth inning, Manuel Margot wanted in on the home run action as his flyball to left field didn’t stop carrying until it left Chavez Ravine. The second home run and fourth hit allowed by Maeda put the score at 3-0.
The Dodgers scratched a run across Craig Stammen in the eighth inning on a throwing error but faltered against All-Star closer Kirby Yates in the ninth inning as the Padres guaranteed themselves at least a split of the four-game series against the Dodgers. It is the first time since April of 2016 that they have won consecutive games at Dodger Stadium.
Joey Lucchesi will look to stifle the Dodgers offense as San Diego aims to take the series. Ross Stripling will be taking the mound for Los Angeles. In his career against San Diego, he is 4-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 13 games, five of which have been starts.
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show “Picked Off”, for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.