Tatis homers twice off Kershaw in Padres 5-2 win over L.A.

Credit: USA Today Sports

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Tatis Jr. homered twice to lift the San Diego Padres to the series-opening win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday at Petco Park, 5-2.

Clayton Kershaw has dominated the Padres for a long time, and even as his fastball’s velocity slowed to around 91 MPH over the recent years, he still navigated his way through the San Diego order. Friday night saw a rare bad start from the future hall-of-famer, and the damage was largely done by Tatis Jr.

After homering to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning, the score remained tied at one, with El Niño walking to the plate following a Trent Grisham walk. Kershaw left a two-strike slider in the zone, and Tatis Jr. smacked it 110.8 MPH over the wall in left to give the Padres the lead. He became the first player to have two multi-home run games against Kershaw. This start, the 405th of Kershaw’s career, was also the first in his career in which he allowed eight hits and walked five.

“Facing one of the best of all time, we had to bring our best,” Tatis Jr. said. “Our lineup was fighting him from top to bottom, and we put together great at-bats against one of the best.”

San Diego’s offense did enough, considering the great start turned in by Yu Darvish. Los Angeles got to him early with a walk by Mookie Betts and a double by Freddie Freeman to begin the game. Darvish navigated the first-inning jam by allowing just one run. He retired 17 of the next 18 Dodgers following the Freeman double, and the one Dodger who reached during that stretch, Miguel Vargas, got doubled off at third base to end the second inning.

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Darvish allowed two hits and a run in the seventh inning and was pulled after 6.2 innings of work while striking out six. Nick Martinez stranded Jason Hayward at third base to end the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth inning to get the ball to Josh Hader for the save, his eleventh of 2023. Hader is now scoreless in his last ten outings.

Blake Snell will start Saturday, as he is still looking to find his stride early in the season. In his last outing, Snell worked through six innings for the first time this season. For the Dodgers, Dustin May will match up against Snell. Los Angeles has won each of his last two starts.

The first pitch will be at 5:40 PT.

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