The Dodgers won their 50th game of the season with a 4-2 victory over the Padres Wednesday night in San Diego. Some sloppy defense by the Friars and some masterful pitching by Kenta Maeda helped the Dodgers take a 2-1 edge in the four-game series.
The game would begin to feel laborious by the sixth frame, but the Padres wasted no time to start things off. They took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Maeda with a leadoff single by Travis Jankowski and a RBI double by Carlos Asuaje.
Cody Bellinger roped his fourth double of the series with two outs in the second inning, but the Dodgers left the bases loaded after an intentional walk to Austin Barnes and a Maeda force out.
The last time the Dodgers saw Joey Lucchesi was in the combined no-hitter on May 4 in Mexico. He was pegged with the loss in that game as well as the game tonight. It felt as though the Dodgers should have had more than three runs against him, because he always seemed to be pitching from behind. He really got into trouble in the third when the Dodgers scored three runs, and Lucchesi made 40 pitches in the frame.
The third-inning rally started when Enrique Hernandez dropped a double just inside the right field line with one out. This time the Dodgers didn’t waste the opportunity with runners in scoring position. Matt Kemp has been one of the best hitters in the league with RISP with a slashline of .431/.468/.754/1.222 coming into Wednesday’s game. Once again The Bison was able to come up with the clutch hit, and Kemp’s RBI single tied the game at a run apiece.
The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead on a RBI single that deflected off the mound for Logan Forsythe. That was just his second hit in his last 34 at-bats. Forsythe also walked in the fifth. Freddy Galvis’ throwing error at shortstop allowed Cody Bellinger to reach safely and Kemp to bring in the second run of the inning for the Dodgers.
The Padres pulled within one run in the bottom of the seventh, and the bridge to Kenley continues to be shaky. Christian Villanueva’s solo shot off Dodgers’ reliever Daniel Hudson was a laser to left field.
The Dodgers got an insurance run with two outs in the eighth thanks to a two-out pinch-hit double by Chase Utley and a Chris Taylor RBI single.
*shakes hands* #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/5XVrK1VHmG— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 12, 2018
Dylan Floro pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts. He looked impressive, reaching 96-mph on the gun. Kenley Jansen came in and pitched a scoreless ninth for his 25th save of the year.
The Rockies crushed the D-backs 19-2 at Coors Field, so the Dodgers are now 1⁄2 game out of first place.
Maeda struck out nine batters in each of his last four starts.
The four-game series in San Diego concludes on Thursday night at 7:10 PM PT. It’s a Ross-Ross showdown. All-Star Ross Stripling (7-2, 2.22 ERA, 2.75 FIP) will face Tyson Ross (5-7, 4.41 ERA, 4.46 FIP).
Home runs: Villanueva (18)
WP - Kenta Maeda (6-5): 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
LP - Joey Lucchesi (4-5): 4 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
SV - Kenley Jansen (25): 1 IP, 1 walk