Dodgers Highlights: Joc Pederson Hits 2 Home Runs, Chris Taylor Secures Series Win With Double Play
Will Smith
Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

Like the first two games of the series at Petco Park, the reigning National League West powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers and emerging San Diego Padres played a back-and-forth affair on Wednesday night.

The Dodgers took an early lead and created some separation in the middle innings, but needed a strike from Chris Taylor to avoid a potential loss or going into extras.

After Taylor hit tripled in the second inning, Joc Pederson opened the scoring with a two-run home run off Garrett Richards, who went on to suffer his first loss of the season.

An RBI single from Will Smith and Kiké Hernandez’s run-scoring double extended the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning. The Padres answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom half, but Pederson then showed off his tremendous power in the fifth inning.

Pederson’s three-run homer off top pitching prospect Luis Patiño gave the Dodgers a 7-2 advantage, which figured to be more than enough cushion. Pederson’s majestic blast to center field traveled an estimated 435 feet.

“The report was he’s throwing the ball really hard, so I was just trying to get the barrel to the ball. I hit it pretty good,” he said of facing Patiño. Pederson now has eight career homers at Petco Park, tied for second-most among all stadiums he’s played in.

“I just like being in San Diego. It’s a nice spot,” he said.

Although the Dodgers seemingly had the game in hand, Ross Stripling began to labor some in the bottom of the sixth and surrendered a two-run double. He collected seven strikeouts but allowed four runs on six hits over 5.2 innings.

San Diego scored another run in each the eighth and ninth innings. They had Kenley Jansen on the ropes, with one out and runners at first and third base. But the game quickly came to an end as Manny Machado lined to left field, which allowed Chris Taylor to start a game-ending double play.

His throw to home plate was clocked at 93.3 mph. “Luckily my momentum was already taking me in. I just tried to get rid of it as quick as I could and give Will an easy one-hop,” Taylor said.

Padres impress in series loss

The Padres spent the past few seasons collecting and developing young talent, and now are picked by some as a potential division champion in 2020.

“That was an exciting series. To get a series win against that team, it was kind of back and forth and hard-fought,” Taylor said. “They’ve got a lot of talented players. Young players, that I think they’re trying to make a statement. It was just a big win for us. To be able to do it in that fashion was nice.”

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