The Los Angeles Dodgers have largely succeeded against left-handed pitching over the past month but it again proved to be their Kryptonite on Friday in a 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres that snapped a three-game winning streak.
Rookie Eric Lauer continued with his success against the Dodgers this season, allowing just one run on four hits. Lauer finished with five strikeouts against two walks over five innings pitched.
The lone run he allowed came in the bottom of the third on a homer surrendered to Kiké Hernandez, which gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Lauer was backed by a scoreless inning from José Castillo, and Matt Strahm collected two outs in the seventh. He exited responsible for runners on first and second base, with Robert Stock representing the first right-hander used by the Padres.
He threw a wild pitch but escaped the jam by retiring Justin Turner. Stock allowed a two-out RBI single to Yasiel Puig in the eighth and gave way to Kirby Yates after walking Yasmani Grandal. Yates fell behind in the count 3-1 to Cody Bellinger but battled back to strike him out.
Trimming the Padres’ lead to 3-2 proved to be a moot point as John Axford faced a bases-loaded jam in the blink of an eye. Furthermore, the Padres did so without the ball ever leaving the infield.
The pair of infield singles and error was cashed in by Wil Myers on a two-run double, which loomed large. Yates allowed an RBI single to Manny Machado that otherwise would’ve tied the game. Representing the tying run at the plate, Joc Pederson struck out to end the game.
Ross Stripling managed to pitch just 3.1 innings for a third time in as many starts since returning to the rotation. He was in a groove early, not allowing a hit until Myers’ two-out single in third inning.
Up to that point only Padres baserunner came on Justin Turner’s throwing error in second. San Diego immediately responded to falling into deficit, with Hunter Renfroe’s line drive clearing the fence in left field for a go-ahead two-run home run in the fourth inning.
Stripling was removed after issuing back-to-back walks, his only of the night. He recorded four strikeouts and allowed just the two runs on three hits but nonetheless was tabbed with the loss.
The Dodgers bullpen kept the team in the game, though the Padres pushed across an insurance run in the seventh inning on Freddy Galvis’ leadoff homer against Ryan Madson. It put a dent in what was otherwise an encouraging relief appearance for the veteran reliever.
The loss, coupled with the Colorado Rockies defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks, cut the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West to 1.5 games. Their magic number to clinch a sixth consecutive division title remained eight.