Joc Pederson, Dodgers Break Out Against Left-Handed Pitching To Beat Padres
Joc Pederson, Dodgers Break Out Against Left-handed Pitching To Beat Padres
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers took the field Thursday night not only needing a win to avoid being swept by the San Diego Padres, but also to remain two games back of the Washington Nationals for home-field advantage in the National League Division Series.

Padres starter Christian Friedrich struck out Howie Kendrick and Charlie Culberson before allowing a ground-rule double to Justin Turner in the first inning. Yasiel Puig fouled out to end a scoreless frame.

Julio Urias allowed a leadoff double to Manuel Margot and walked Wil Myers to put runners on the corners with one out. Yangervis Solarte flied out and Hunter Renfroe uncharacteristically grounded out.

Carlos Ruiz led off the second inning with a base hit, only to be stranded by Kiké Hernandez, Rob Segedin and Joc Pederson. After walking Derek Norris to start the bottom of the second, Urias proceeded to strike out the side.

His string of strikeouts was snapped at four as Jon Jay grounded to second base for the second out in the bottom of the third. Urias then got back on the horse and struck out Myers to end another scoreless inning.

Jesse Chavez took over in the bottom of the fourth and allowed back-to-back flare singles that put runners on the corners with one out. San Diego took a 1-0 lead on Carlos Asuaje’s line-drive single into right field, and Luis Sardinas followed with an RBI base hit on a grounder that got through the right side of the infield.

Segedin lined a one-out triple just out of Renfroe’s reach in right field. The triple was Segedin’s first of his career. Pederson followed with an RBI single to cut the Dodgers’ deficit in half. Friedrich settled back in to retire pinch-hitter Chris Taylor and Kendrick.

Brett Anderson took the mound in the bottom of the fifth for his first relief appearance since Sept. 28, 2013. He worked around a pair of singles, including one that came on a ball that Puig nearly made a diving catch for, to throw a scoreless inning.

Friedrich ran into a world of trouble in the sixth. Culberson led off with a double down the right-field line, and narrowly avoided the tag at home plate to score one batter later on Turner’s line drive to center field. Friedrich was removed after walking Segedin to load the bases with two outs.

Jose Torres took over for the Padres and immediately threw a wild pitch, which allowed Turner to score. Pederson collected his second double of the night off a left-hander, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2. Anderson worked around a single and double to toss a second scoreless inning of relief.

Turner and Puig connected on back-to-back singles with two outs in the seventh. Ruiz cashed them in by pulling a two-run double down the line that rolled all the way to the left-field wall. Jay reached on Hernandez’s error, and Myers lined a single into right field to put two on with nobody out.

Anderson retired Solarte, then gave way to Josh Fields. He struck out Renfroe and retired Norris to send the game to the eighth inning with the Dodgers still leading 7-2. Segedin’s night came to an end after a leadoff double in the eighth as he was pinch-run for by Andrew Toles.

Andre Ethier pinch-hit for Fields and pulled a chopper through the right side for an RBI single. Alex Wood induced an inning-ending double play to work a quick bottom of the eighth. Toles blooped an RBI single to left field in the ninth.

Margot singled off Adam Liberatore to open the bottom of the ninth and reached second base on Toles’ error. Jay connected on an RBI single, and Solarte hit an RBI double Liberatore could finish out the Dodgers’ 9-4 victory.