Led by Yasiel Puig at the plate, Brandon McCarthy on the mound and buoyed by a four-run seventh inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres, 10-2, to come away with a series win. Los Angeles improved to 3-1 on the season ahead of a six-game road trip.
McCarthy’s first start of the regular season mirrored his early outings after returning last year from Tommy John surgery. Joc Pederson’s misplay on a ball in the second inning resulted in a leadoff double for Yangervis Solarte, but McCarthy proceeded to retire the next three batters.
Puig then broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second by jumping on the first pitch he saw from Jared Weaver, sending a two-run homer sailing into the Dodgers bullpen. McCarthy retired the Padres in order in the third and fourth innings, setting the stage for more Puig fireworks.
He clubbed a second two-run home run of the game, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0. Corey Seager hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth, and Pederson leaned into a pitch to ensure it hit him, but Weaver stranded both runners.
McCarthy completed a sixth inning, becoming the first Dodgers pitcher to do since Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day. But it was at that point that McCarthy lost his shutout effort. Two batters after Travis Jankowski singled, Wil Myers hit an opposite-field home run that cut the Dodgers’ lead in half.
McCarthy allowed two runs, four his, walked a batter and collected four strikeouts. The quality start was his first since July 22, 2016, which was McCarthy’s fourth outing of the year.
Jarred Cosart took over for Weaver in the bottom of the sixth and promptly walked Puig to open the inning. He was erased on a force out, but Austin Barnes scored on Kiké Hernandez’s pinch-hit double.
A wild pitch allowed Hernandez to advance to third base, and Seager walked, setting up a double steal. The Padres challenged the safe call at home plate but to no avail, and the Dodgers led 6-2 through six innings.
Hernandez stealing home plate was a first for the Dodgers since Carl Crawford, which also came on a double steal, did so against the Detroit Tigers on April 9, 2014.
Luis Avilan worked around a leadoff single and one-out walk in the seventh inning. He was aided by Adrian Gonzalez, who alertly threw home for the final out on a squeeze attempt. Christian Bethancourt, who pinch-hit for Padres reliever Craig Stammen in the top of the seventh, took the mound in the bottom half of the inning.
Bethancourt walked the bases loaded and walked a run in, then was removed with one out. Brad Hand promptly allowed a two-run double to Seager and saw another run come across on a passed ball before managing to get out of the inning.
Pederson, who struck out to end the seventh, slammed his bat and helmet and was ejected by home plate umpire David Rackley. The ejection was Pederson’s second of his career.
Chris Hatcher turned in two scoreless innings to wrap up the Dodgers’ win. Los Angeles relievers concluded the homestand with seven consecutive shutout innings over the final two games of the series.