The Dodgers got the Padres starting pitcher out of the game in the third inning but couldn’t fully capitalize. San Diego did damage against the Los Angeles bullpen to take Saturday’s game 7-4 in Monterrey, Mexico, snapping the Dodgers’ three-game winning streak.
Josh Fields issued a four-pitch walk to his first batter faced in the sixth inning, then one out later allowed a home run to Raffy Lopez, turning a one-run Dodgers lead into a deficit.
Fields’ 63.4% fly ball rate is by far the highest of his career, well above his 49.5% lifetime mark. He has allowed a home run in three of his last four appearances, all on this road trip. Fields had a similar string last June, with homers in three straight games, and that got him optioned briefly to Triple-A.
Daniel Hudson escaped an inherited bases loaded situation in the seventh inning thanks to a double play, but allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in the eighth inning to widen San Diego’s advantage.
Bryan Mitchell lasted just 2⅓ innings on Saturday for the Padres. He allowed three runs to raise his ERA to a gaudy 6.47 and walked three more to raise his major league-leading total to 26 free passes in just 32 innings.
One of those runs as hit by Matt Kemp, who continued to feast on his former team this season, going 9-for-17 (.529) against the Padres with three home runs and nine RBI in just five games.
He’s hitting .330/.367/.549 with five home runs to start his 2018, leading the Dodgers in batting average, slugging percentage and home runs (tied).
But the Dodgers could not take advantage once Mitchell was gone, scoring just one run in 6⅔ innings against the Padres bullpen.
That 0-for-37 skid against Dodgers pitchers vanished just one batter into Saturday’s game, when Travis Jankowski tripled to lead off the game against Kenta Maeda. Eric Hosmer followed with a home run to right field to put the Padres on top 2-0 just seven pitches in.
Maeda allowed three runs in his five innings and struck out seven with just one walk. He has seven or more strikeouts four times in six starts in 2018, after seven such games in 25 starts last year.
Alex Verdugo made a tremendous sliding catch in foul territory in the fourth inning. The play seemed to happen in slow motion, which combined with the rainy weather evoked memories of Kirk Gibson’s memorable sprawling grab in left field in Game 3 of the 1988 NLCS.
That catch was just the second out of the frame though, and Franchy Cordero was able to score the tying run easily from third.
The Dodgers go for the series win on Sunday afternoon but Rich Hill won’t be activated from the disabled list after all.
Ross Stripling starts tomorrow, not Rich Hill. The Dodgers are concerned about the humidity here for Hill’s finger.— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) May 6, 2018
Rich Hill is unhappy with the Dodgers’ decision to scratch him. “I’m good to go,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing going on. They just decided to go with Strip.”— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) May 6, 2018
Left-hander Eric Lauer makes his third major league start for the Padres. The 1:10 p.m. PT start is televised by SportsNet LA and ESPN, with the latter subject to local blackouts.
Home runs: Matt Kemp (5); Eric Hosmer (4), Raffy Lopez (1)
WP - Kirby Yates (2-0): ⅔ IP, 1 walk
LP - Josh Fields (2-1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Brad Hand (8): 1 IP, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts