A game that Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Pedro Baez played pivotal roles in to ensure the Los Angeles Dodgers controlled, again wilted away with Kenley Jansen on the mound. Yasmani Grandal was there to pick him up, however, keying a 7-3 win over the San Diego Padres in 12 innings.
Grandal, who entered the night batting a Nation League-best .372, snapped an 0-for-5 night with a go-ahead two-run double off Padres southpaw reliever Tyler Webb. Kyle Farmer later added a two-run double of his own to provide additional insurance.
Josh Fields worked around a two-out single to convert the save opportunity. The Dodgers have won three games for the first time this season and also clinched their first series of the year. Los Angeles is 2-2 in extra-inning games.
Jansen inherited a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning that was immediately cut in half on Eric Hosmer’s booming leadoff home run. Two batters later, Chris Taylor made a leaping catch at the wall in center field to rob Christian Villanueva of a game-tying home run.
But all it did was delay the result. Franchy Cordero walked with two outs, stole second base and was balked to third. The extra 90 feet made little difference as Chase Headley pulled a game-tying double down the right-field line.
The Dodgers were on the verge of suffering a third extra-innings loss this season when Ross Stripling started the bottom of the 10th with back-to-back walks. He then faced a bases-loaded jam with one out but escaped it behind consecutive strikeouts.
Matt Kemp once again swung a big bat against his former team, driving in all three Dodgers’ runs before Grandal’s double. While Kemp provided the offensive punch, Alex Wood looked like his All-Star self from the mound.
After allowing a one-out infield single to deep shortstop, Wood retired the next 11 batters faced and was through five shutout innings on an efficient 65 pitches. The string of not allowing a hit was snapped when Carlos Asuaje led off the bottom of the sixth with a double.
He represented the Padres’ first baserunner at second base against Wood in a game at Petco Park since last June, which led to his accusing Manuel Margot of stealing signs, and a subsequent exchange between managers Dave Roberts and Andy Green.
There was no such incident this time around, but Wood did follow the double with a walk of pinch-hitter Matt Szcur. It was Wood’s first walk in 22.2 innings pitched this season.
That led to the Padres getting on the board as Wood fielded a comebacker but threw the ball into center field on his attempt to start a 1-6-3 inning ending double play. Tony Cingrani struck out Eric Hosmer, then J.T. Chargois froze Hunter Renfroe to end the inning.
Bryan Mitchell’s struggles this season immediately reared their head, with Kemp’s second home run in as many games against the Padres coming in the first inning. In the fifth, Kemp scored Chris Taylor for a second time, with his sacrifice fly giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
That Mitchell only allowed the three runs was a stroke of good fortune, as the Dodgers made solid contact throughout his six innings of work. Cody Bellinger hit a leadoff triple in the fourth, only to be stranded, along with Chase Utley.
Although the Dodgers initially failed to get to the Padres’ bullpen, Pedro Baez followed the footsteps of Cingrani and Chargois and struck out all four batters faced.
A footnote on the night was Chase Utley reaching a personal milestone by getting hit by a pitch for the 200th time in his career.