In their first game since clinching a fourth straight National League West title, the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the San Diego Padres in the opener of a three-game series. Tuesday’s contest marked the start of the Dodgers’ final road trip this season.
Chase Utley led off the first inning with a double to right field, but was stranded by Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez. Kenta Maeda, initially scheduled to start Wednesday, allowed a pair of base hits, then a three-run homer to Hunter Renfroe in the bottom of the first.
Other than Josh Reddick’s 340-foot single with one out, the Dodgers didn’t muster any offense against Paul Clemens in the second inning. That changed in some regard in the third, with Utley lining a solo home run to right field.
Andre Ethier pinch-hit for Maeda with two outs in the top of the fifth and struck out to end the inning. Maeda was removed due to a pitch count, and didn’t allow a hit after Renfroe’s home run in the first inning.
Alex Wood took over in the bottom of the fifth, Ethier remained in the game in left field, and Howie Kendrick replaced Gonzalez at first base. Wood bookended a scoreless inning of relief with strikeouts.
Jose Torres walked Utley and allowed a single to Seager, putting two on with nobody out. Utley tagged on Turner’s fly ball to right field, and Kendrick drew a walk to load the bases. Los Angeles failed to capitalize on the opportunity, with Yasmani Grandal and Reddick both popping-out.
Kiké Hernandez drew a leadoff walk in the seventh, which prompted the Padres to cal on left-handed reliever Buddy Baumann. He struck out pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig and retired Ethier prior to walking Utley.
Representing the the go-ahead run at the plate, Seager grounded out to end the inning. Josh Fields set the Padres down in order in the bottom of the seventh to keep the Padres’ lead at 3-1. Grant Dayton struck out the first two batters faced in the bottom of the eighth and was removed after Jon Jay’s bunt single.
Louis Coleman took over and issued back-to-back walks to load the bases. Renfroe then connected for a grand slam, blowing the game. Charlie Culberson led off the ninth with a pinch-hit single and Ethier drew a walk, but there wasn’t any rally for the Dodgers in the ninth.
Their 7-1 loss left two them two games back of the Washington Nationals in the race for home-field advantage in the NL Division Series.