LOS ANGELES — After experiencing both ends of the spectrum on offense in the first two games of the series, the Dodgers found a happy medium of sorts on Wednesday night, and took advantage of a few opportunities that fell in their favor to beat the Padres 3-1 at Dodger Stadium.
One night after not getting a runner even into scoring position, the Dodgers scored first on Wednesday, for the first time in this series.
A pair of doubles by Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez scored the first run of the game, but the first inning became a two-run inning when Wil Myers at first base dropped a routine throw from third base that would have ended the frame, allowing Gonzalez to scamper home with a gift second run.
San Diego clawed back in the fourth inning with a home run by Hunter Renfroe, but his potential game-tying shot was just a solo home run because Myers was picked off trying to steal by Rich Hill earlier in the at-bat.
Renfroe has five home runs in 14 major league games, dating back to last year, and four of those home runs were hit against the Dodgers, in six games.
Yasiel Puig provided some insurance by taking Padres starter Trevor Cahill deep in the fourth inning, a towering shot inside the foul pole down the left field line. The solo shot gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead, and was Puig’s first major league home run against a right-handed pitcher since hitting one against Yovani Gallardo last July 4, 62 plate appearances ago.
“With Yasiel, he’s so strong that he can put the ball out of the ballpark anywhere,” manager Dave Roberts said. “If he can elevate the baseball, he’s got a chance.”
Hill only allowed two hits in his five innings, but also walked three and was pulled after 75 pitches, striking out five on the night. He was buoyed by the Dodgers bullpen, with three pitchers making their 2017 debuts.
Sergio Romo gave up a couple of rockets, including a ground-rule double by Myers, but came away otherwise unscathed in a scoreless sixth in his Dodgers debut.
Alex Wood threw two scoreless innings in his first appearance of the year, striking out one while walking one, and was hitting 95 mph.
“Alex hadn’t pitched since Friday or Saturday, so he was definitely a caged lion,” Roberts said. He was dominant.
“Having him in the pen is a weapon. We have him for length, but he’s going to be a guy I trust in high-leverage situations. For him to bridge that gap tonight to Kenley was huge.”
That set the stage for Kenley Jansen, who pitched a perfect ninth in his 2017 debut, earning his 190th career save.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (1); Hunter Renfroe (1)
WP - Rich Hill (1-0): 5 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Trevor Cahill (0-1): 5⅔ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (1): 1 IP, 1 strikeout