While the Los Angeles Dodgers have struggled to hit left-handed pitching, Clayton Richard has proven to be the exception to the rule, and such was the case Friday night. The Dodgers offense exploded, resulting in a 11-1 win to kick off Players Weekend.
Richard was removed with two outs in the fourth after allowing at least one run in each of his innings pitched. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, Manny Machado scored from first base on Matt Kemp’s single and error on Franmil Reyes.
Kiké Hernandez’s double and Yasmani Grandal’s walk put two on with nobody out in the bottom of the second for Cody Bellinger, who extended the Dodgers’ lead to 2-0 with an RBI single. Brian Dozier (double) and Justin Turner (single) each drove in a run before Richard could get through the inning.
Chris Taylor’s home run, his 14th of the season, put the Padres in a 5-0 deficit. Turner tacked on a two-run home run in the fourth inning, signaling the rout. The Dodgers got to Miguel Diaz in the fifth on Bellinger’s RBI flare double and Rich Hill helping himself with an RBI single.
It wasn’t until Phil Maton in the sixth that a Padres pitcher manage to complete a scoreless inning. That changed for Maton in the seventh as he surrendered a mammoth two-run home run to Max Muncy.
Hill took the mound in his “D. Mountain” Players’ Weekend uniform that had many buzzing. He then proceeded to match the strong wordplay with an equally impressive outing.
One year and one day from throwing eight perfect innings and pitching a no-hitter through nine, Hill steadily made his way toward reprising a similar start. It was thwarted in the fifth inning, but he nonetheless logged six shutout innings.
Hill not only was working on a perfect game, he did so with six strikeouts through three innings and seven punchouts over four frames. Hunter Renfroe’s leadoff double down the right-field line dashed any hope of Hill throwing an elusive perfect game or no-hitter.
A groundout advanced Renfroe, and a walk put two on, but Hill stranded both runners by retiring Manuel Margot. He then left Freddy Galvis on base after his one-out triple to complete six scoreless frames.
With a comfortable lead, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts handed the game to his bullpen. Pedro Baez preserved the shutout with a scoreless inning but Yimi Garcia allowed an RBI double in the eighth. The appearance was Garcia’s first for the Dodgers since May 3.
Their win on Friday night marked the first time since Aug. 7 that it coincided with the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks both losing.