Recap: Joc Pederson Hits Leadoff Home Run, Walker Buehler Labors In Dodgers’ Loss To Padres
Abraham Almote, Wil Myers
Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

An expected pitcher’s duel between Walker Buehler and Chris Paddack instead saw a combined 15 hits in a back-and-forth affair that the Los Angeles Dodgers fell short in, suffering a 5-4 loss to the San Diego Padres.

The game started with Joc Pederson and Trent Grishman trading leadoff home runs in the first inning. For Pederson it marked his 21st career leadoff homer; he set a Dodgers franchise record with nine last season, which was on the heels of surpassing Davey Lopes’ mark with eighth in 2018.

Buehler benefitted from Will Smith throwing out Abraham Almonte on his stolen base attempt in the second inning, and he stranded another walk in the third to keep the game tied. Wil Myers’ two-out home run put the Padres ahead in the fifth, and Fernando Tatis’ solo blast with two outs in the sixth inning pulled them even.

Tatis’ home run was the fourth Buehler has allowed in 8.2 innings pitched over two starts this season. If there was a silver lining for Buehler to take from another shaky outing, he had stretches of a sharp breaking ball and he reached the target of five innings.

Paddack nearly gave up two home runs as well, but Corey Seager’s drive to right-center field hit off the top of the wall for a double in the fifth inning. After Matt Beaty’s base hit put runners at the corners, Smith’s two-run double gave the Dodgers a temporary lead.

San Diego scored for a third consecutive inning in the sixth, largely behind Brusdar Graterol encountering some bad luck. He jammed Manny Machado with a sinker that was fisted into center field for a bloop single.

Two batters later, AJ Pollock bobbled a base hit to left field, allowing Machado to easily score from second base. Almonte then hit an RBI single off Caleb Ferguson, extending the Padres’ lead to 5-3 before L.A. could get out of the inning.

Cody Bellinger’s leadoff home run in the ninth inning put more heat on Kirby Yates, but he rebounded to convert the save opportunity.

No Mookie Betts

Although Corey Seager returned from a left quad issue to serve as the designated hitter, Mookie Betts missed Monday’s game due to “significant swelling” in the middle finger on his left hand. Roberts said Betts potentially was available as a defensive replacement and otherwise remained day-to-day.

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