Recap: Ryan Pepiot Struggles, But Dodgers Come From Behind To Win Series Against Padres

The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen avoided a collapse and more production throughout the entire lineup led to defeating the San Diego Padres, 9-4. In coming from behind on Sunday, the Dodgers took back-to-back games to win the weekend series against the Padres. Their magic number to clinch the National League West is now nine.

Although Ryan Pepiot was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to provide the starting rotation with an extra day of rest, he pitched out of the bullpen. Caleb Ferguson struck out the side in the first inning on just 11 pitches. He was the first opener the Dodgers have used this season after relying on the strategy with more frequency last year.

Doing so against the Padres was with the thought of putting Pepiot in the best position to provide length. However, that failed to come to fruition as Pepiot threw 74 pitches and issued four walks over two-plus innings.

He exited with the Dodgers trailing 1-0, and Alex Vesia kept their deficit there by retiring three batters faced to strand two inherited runners.

L.A. rode some of that momentum as Will Smith led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a game-tying home run. Cody Bellinger then drew a walk with the bases loaded that marked the end of Mike Clevinger’s start. Mookie Betts extended the Dodgers’ lead with a sacrifice fly and Trea Turner hit a blooper into shallow left field that dropped and rolled away for a two-run double.

Although the Dodgers appeared to have the game in hand, the Padres mounted a rally. After helping complete a scoreless sixth inning, Heath Hembree failed to make it through the seventh. Evan Phillips took over with runners at the corners and needing just one out to escape the jam.

He entered with a streak of having retired 29 consecutive batters, only to give up a two-run double to Jurickson Profar. That came partly due to Smith failing to make the play on a popup in foul territory. Jake Cronenworth then drew the Padres closer with an RBI double.

Prior to those hits, Phillips had not allowed an extra-base hit on his cutter this season.

Just as soon as the Padres climbed back into the game, the Dodgers broke it open once again. Smith’s leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh and Max Muncy’s line-drive single off the wall in right field put runners at the corners for Justin Turner, whose second double of the game provided the Dodgers with some breathing room.

With southpaw Adrian Morejan on the mound, Trayce Thompson pinch-hit for Joey Gallo and delivered the knockout blow with a three-run home run. It was the Dodgers’ third pinch-hit homer of the season and the second of Thompson’s career.

Mookie Betts mic’d up

On top of going 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI, Betts dazzled on ESPN by being mic’d up for Sunday Night Baseball. He discussed playing pool with rapper Nelly at his home at 2 a.m., being friends with Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul, his passion in bowling, and which Dodgers teammate most needed a fashion makeover.

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