What once appeared to be a matchup between promising starters Dustin May and Chris Paddack instead saw both teams resort to a bullpen game, and the Los Angeles Dodgers prevailed with a 7-5 win to take the three-game series from the San Diego Padres.
Tuesday’s victory guaranteed the Dodgers would remain in first place in the National League West regardless of what transpired in the series finale at Petco Park. With their second consecutive win, the Dodgers now lead the Padres by 3.5 games with 10 remaining.
Moreover, since the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers lost, the Dodgers clinched a postseason berth.
Brusdar Graterol again filled the role of opener rather effectively. He erased a leadoff walk with a double play and was through a scoreless first inning on 11 pitches. That allowed Graterol to start the second, though he was removed after Wil Myers’ one-out double.
Adam Kolarek struggled with his command, walked a batter and allowed a game-tying RBI double to Jason Castro. May entered in the third and proceeded to turn in 5.1 innings. In addition to largely keeping the Padres at bay, May was efficient in his first relief appearance this season.
The Padres eventually got to May, with Jurickson Profar hitting a two-run homer in the seventh inning and Manny Machado’s solo shot in the eighth. Profar’s RBI single off Pedro Baez in the ninth brought the tying run to the plate with two outs.
By then the Dodgers had provided May with a comfortable lead. It began in the top of the third with Max Muncy’s RBI double and Will Smith’s run-scoring infield single that was a byproduct of Joey Lucceshi slipping as he went to field the check-swing roller.
The Dodgers struck again in the fifth inning as Will Smith delivered a two-out, two-run double, and Cody Bellinger followed with an opposite-field base hit to extend the lead to 6-1. Chris Taylor’s leadoff home run in the sixth created more separation.
Mookie Betts helped set the table throughout the afternoon by going 2-for-5 and tying a career high with three stolen bases.
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