A familiar story cost Clayton Kershaw an 11th win in his last 14 starts against the San Diego Padres, but the Los Angeles Dodgers still managed to claw out a 5-4 walk-off win in 12 innings thanks to Justin Turner’s bloop single.
That came one pitch after a power outage at Dodger Stadium put the game into a 19-minute delay. Turner didn’t wait long, driving in the winning run on the first pitch he saw.
The Dodgers needed his heroics because Kenley Jansen surrendered a game-tying solo home run to Austin Hedges with one out in the ninth inning. It marked a third consecutive appearance since returning from the 10-day disabled list in which Jansen has allowed a homer.
Including Saturday, Jansen has now been tagged for four home runs in just three innings pitched during that span.
He and the Dodgers were in the precarious situation in large part because of a failure to capitalize on having runners at second and third with nobody out in the bottom of the eighth. Trey Wingenter struck out Yasmani Grandal and Chris Taylor, and retired Puig on one pitch.
The Dodgers busted out of the gate before going quiet for much of the rest of the night. Brett Kennedy allowed a leadoff single to Max Muncy in the bottom of the first, then hit Turner with a pitch to set the table for Machado.
He lifted a fastball to center field that carried just enough to clear the fence. The home run was Machado’s 30th of the season.
To Kennedy’s credit, he recovered and retired the next four batters faced. Yasiel Puig singled with one out in the second inning, and proceeded to steal second and third base. However, Kennedy struck out Max Muncy to end the inning.
Kennedy stranded Turner’s leadoff single in the third, left the bases loaded in the fourth and wound up getting through five innings with just Machado’s home run allowed.
While the Dodgers failed to capitalize on their opportunities, Clayton Kershaw managed to ensure the early run support held up through most of his outing. He used the Padres’ aggressiveness against them to efficiently get through two scoreless innings.
San Diego managed to break through in the third behind Manuel Margot’s leadoff double, a sacrifice bunt from Kennedy, and Freddy Galvis’ RBI single. Wil Myers followed with a base hit to put runners at the corners, but Kershaw retired Eric Hosmer and Hunter Renfroe.
That was the beginning of a stretch that saw Kershaw retire 11 straight. The streak was snapped when Franmil Reyes ambushed Kershaw’s first pitch for a solo home run in the seventh inning. With a shaky bullpen and Kershaw at 90 pitches, he was allowed to hit for himself to lead off the bottom of the seventh.
A chopper up the line hit off the first base bag and kicked into right field for a single but Kershaw was thrown out attempting to leg out a double. The effort not only backfired but cost the Dodgers a run as Max Muncy clubbed his 30th home run of the season to celebrate his 28th birthday in style.
Disaster nearly struck in the eighth, with Kershaw benefitting from his hustle and awareness and some good fortune. Machado’s throwing error on a potential double play ball put runners at the corners with one out.
Kershaw alertly backed up third base and was in position to field Puig’s errant throw that got by Turner. In some regard it made little difference as an RBI groundout scored Galvis anyhow.
That being said, Myers only advanced to second base instead of third on that play, and it loomed large as Renfroe was credited with a single but his line drive struck Myers, resulting in the third out rather than the tying run possibly scoring.