The Los Angeles Dodgers have been carried by their power through much of this season, they successfully resorted to small ball in the early going of a 6-0 win over the San Diego Padres.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak and prevented the Dodgers from dropping their first series of the season. Though, they will need another win against the Padres on Thursday to keep that alive.
With the game knotted in a scoreless tie, AJ Pollock led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a walk. Chris Taylor followed with a bunt that went for a single. Edwin Rios then lined a comeback off Zach Davies’ glove, and it rolled into shallow right field for an RBI base hit.
The Dodgers again called on the bunt with runners at the corners, as Austin Barnes dropped down a safety squeeze to score Chris Taylor on a fielder’s choice.
Then in the eighth inning, infield singles from Barnes and Mookie Betts set the table for Cody Bellinger’s two-run double. Justin Turner then punctuated it with a three-run homer to blow the game open.
Prior to that the slim lead had been enough for a Dodgers bullpen that has been nothing short of stellar this season. The same could be said for Tony Gonsolin, who impressed in his second spot start.
He held the Padres to just three hits and issued a walk, but also set a career high with eight strikeouts over 4.2 innings. Gonsolin exited after a Jurickson Profar single, which gave the Padres two baserunners.
Blake Treinen squashed the threat by striking out Fernando Tatis Jr. Treinen also got through the sixth inning, and Pedro Baez stranded a one-out walk in the seventh. Brusdar Graterol inherited a leadoff walk in the eighth but wiped it out by inducing Tatis into a double play.
That proved key as Trent Grisham followed with a double. Graterol kept the Padres off the board by striking out Manny Machado on three pitches.
Scott Alexander allowed two infield singles and issued a walk before being removed with the bases loaded. Kenley Jansen preserved the shutout by striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Will Smith exits early
Although Barnes wound up factoring heavily into the Dodgers’ win, it was Will Smith who started at catcher. He was removed in the fifth inning due to a sore neck.
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