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Dodgers offense struggles, drop series-opener to Padres

LA now leads the division by 1 1⁄2 games

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The opportunities were there, but the Dodgers were unable to capitalize, stranding 10 runners on base and dropping a must-win game to the Padres, 5-3.

With the loss and the Rockies win, the Dodgers are now 1 12 games in first place with eight games left.

The Dodgers struck first in the third inning, as Kike Hernandez hit his 21st homer of the season.

The lead was short-lived, as the Padres tacked on two in the fourth thanks to a two-run homer courtesy of Hunter Renfroe.

Back-to-back walks would be the end of the line for Ross Stripling. He lasted only 3 13 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and 76 pitches. Pedro Baez entered with runners on first and second with one out. Baez managed to get back-to-back pop outs, escaping the jam untouched.

The Dodgers had a prime opportunity to tie the game in the fifth. With runners on first and second, Manny Machado stepped up to the plate with two outs. Machado would strike out, ending the inning.

Freddy Galvis led off the seventh with a solo home run to give San Diego a 3-1 lead.

LA put together another mini-rally in the seventh. Brian Dozier walked and Hernandez singled, bringing Justin Turner to the plate. A wild-pitch would put runners on second and third. Needing a base hit to likely tie the game, Turner was unable to deliver, flying out to left to end the inning.

An RBI single from Yasiel Puig in the eighth cut the deficit to one. After a Yasmani Grandal walk, the Dodgers had runners on first and second with two outs. Cody Bellinger stepped up to the plate. He jumped ahead in the count 3-1, but swung through the next two pitches, striking out, and stranding more runners on base.

On the night, the Dodgers stranded 10 runners on base and were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Two singles and an error would load the bases for Wil Myers in the ninth. After the bases were loaded without the ball leaving the infield, Myers took one to the wall, doubling and bringing in two, giving San Diego a 5-2 lead.

With runners on second and third and zero out, the Padres looked to add more runs. Pat Venditte relieved John Axford. Venditte escaped the inning without issuing any more runs, getting three outs.

The Dodgers were able to add one in the ninth, and Joc Pederson represented the tying run. With a runner on third, Joc struck out, and gave the Padres the 5-3 win. LA now leads the division by 1 12 games.

Up Next

The Dodgers will look to bounce back as Rich Hill (9-5, 4.02 ERA) will square off against Jacob Nix (2-3, 5.75 ERA).

Friday Particulars

Home Runs: Kike Hernandez (21) Hunter Renfroe (24)

WP: Eric Lauer (6-7) 5 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO

LP: Ross Stripling (8-5) 3 13 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

SV: Kirby Yates (10) 1 13 IP, 1 ER, 2 SO