After dropping the series opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers returned the favor with a win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night, setting the stage for the rubber match in the three-game series at Petco Park.
While the Padres may be a young team with a bright future that may even make the postseason this year, the Dodgers showed them who still owns the division, defeating them, 7-6, to take the series.
Joc Pederson hit his first home run of the year in the series opener, and he carried that hot bat into Wednesday night, hitting a two-run shot in the top of the second off Padres starter Garrett Richards to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead. Chris Taylor scored on the play after tripling a few pitches earlier.
The Dodgers then added to their lead in the top of the fifth, and once again it was Pederson that got the rally started with a leadoff walk. He scored on a single by Will Smith, and then Kiké Hernandez hit an RBI double down the line to make it 4-0.
San Diego answered in the bottom of the fifth though on a towering two-run home run by Fernando Tatis Jr., marking the first blemish in Ross Stripling’s outing. Stripling walked the No. 9 hitter with two outs to give Tatis a chance, which a pitcher never wants to do.
Pederson returned the favor in the top of the fifth, however, hitting his second home run of the night in the form of a three-run shot to center. It scored Corey Seager and Taylor, who both singled, to extend L.A.’s lead to 7-2.
Padres top prospect Luis Patiño was on the mound making his Major League debut, although Pederson’s home run likely wasn’t the greeting he was looking for.
Stripling was cruising on the mound, looking to be on his way to his third win in as many starts this season, although he ran into more trouble with two outs in the sixth. A walk, single and a double cut the Dodgers’ lead to 7-4 and marked the end of Stripling’s outing in the process after 5.2 innings.
He was still in line for the win though if the Dodgers’ bullpen could hang onto the lead. Blake Treinen was the first reliever tasked with that job, and he worked around a pair of walks to complete a scoreless seventh inning.
Caleb Ferguson gave up a run in the eighth on a solo home run to Wil Myers, which set the stage for a Kenley Jansen save attempt in the ninth. Jansen did not make things easy, allowing a pair of hits and a run, although Taylor saved his bacon with a beautiful throw to nail the tying run at home plate to win the game.
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