Joc Pederson broke his franchise record that was set last year and slugged two home runs to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-4 victory and series win against the San Diego Padres. It helped ease some of the concern with Corey Seager, who was removed because of hamstring tightness.
The Dodgers deemed it a precautionary decision, though it’s the same left hamstring Seager strained and forced him to spend one month on the 10-day injured list. Seager went 1-for-2 with an RBI double to extend his hitting streak to a season-best 10 games.
He adds to the growing list of injury concerns for the Dodgers as the postseason draws near. Justin Turner and Max Muncy recently returned from respective ankle and quadriceps trouble, and Joe Kelly is working to push through an unspecified injury.
Seager’s extra-base hit extended the Dodgers’ lead to 2-0 in the first inning. It came four batters after Pederson clubbed his ninth leadoff home run of the season. That set a new Dodgers franchise record, surpassing the eight Pederson clubbed last season.
Prior to that, the mark was held by Davey Lopes, who hit seven leadoff home runs in 1979.
The longball continued to suit the Dodgers well, as Chris Taylor’s solo shot to the opposite field tied the game in the third inning. Pederson later went the other way in the fifth inning to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. The multi-homer game was Pederson’s sixth this season and 14th of his career.
He also broke a tie with Max Muncy and now is second on the team with 35 home runs.
When the Padres rallied against Yimi Garcia to again tie the game, Edwin Rios led off the seventh inning with a 473-foot home run to right field. It represented the longest hit by a Dodger this season and the longest by a visiting player in Petco Park history.
From there the Dodgers relied on Julio Urias, Dustin May and Kenley Jansen to finish the game out behind one inning from each. May handling the high-leverage situation in the eighth was particularly encouraging, given Kelly’s ongoing injury woes.
Pederson’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth provided Jansen with some insurance for his 300th career save.
With the win the Dodgers remained in position to break the franchise record of 105 victories, set by the 1953 Brooklyn team. This year’s club needs to finish undefeated on the road trip in order to rewrite the record books.
They are two shy of tying the L.A. wins record, and have four games remaining.