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Dodgers score plenty to back Rich Hill’s solid night in win over San Diego

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — The most consistent part of this inconsistent year for the Dodgers is the fact that they love hitting against the Padres. The Dodgers exploded for five runs in the third inning on their way to a 7-2 win, capped by a three-run shot off the bat of Manny Machado on his bobblehead night.

With the win, their 13th in 18 games against the Padres this year, the Dodgers magic number shrinks to seven as they maintain a 1.5-game lead over the Rockies.

Eight of the first nine to hit for Los Angeles in the third reached base. The only out in that sequence was a failed bunt attempt by Rich Hill as he fouled out to the catcher after Chris Taylor singled to start the frame.

Joc Pederson and Justin Turner followed with back-to-back doubles, the latter bringing in two runs to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Two batters later, hitting in the cleanup spot, Machado delivered three more runs with a first-pitch line drive to the seats to the right of center field.

Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts spoke before the game about the importance of getting Machado going on offense. Machado responded with his 12th homer in a Dodger uniform.

“He’s trying like heck and he wants that signature moment, that big hit for us,” said Roberts. “Hopefully it kind of alleviated some of the anxiety or pressure for him.”

“It’s very simple. It’s just trying to simplify things, see the ball and get a good pitch to hit.

Roberts moved Max Muncy into the three spot in the lineup Saturday to split up the right-handed Turner and Machado. But also because he wanted another hitter in front of his shortstop that was taking good at-bats.

“Having (Turner) in front of him, having Max in front of him, conducting those at-bats,” Roberts said. “I think that’s kind of contagious, when you’re seeing that from the on-deck circle. You have a better chance of taking that to the batter’s box.”

“Today he got a pitch he could handle that was elevated and he did what he does, going to the big part of the field.”

Padre starter Jacob Nix would get an early shower just four pitches later when Cody Bellinger slashed a double. Nix would be charged with all six runs, only recording seven outs on the night.

The third inning outburst was bookended by a pair of homers that set the Dodgers franchise record for homers in a season for the second consecutive season. Yasmani Grandal’s solo smash in the sixth inning was the 222nd long ball of the year for the Dodgers.

Coincidentally, Grandal hit the 212th homer last season that broke the previous record of 211, held by the 2000 team.

Joc Pederson launched his 10th career leadoff homer — seventh this season — into the Padre bullpen to start the home half of the first. Pederson now ranks fourth in Dodgers history in that category, trailing Davey Lopes (28), Rafael Furcal (14) and Johnny Frederick (11).

Given an extra day of rest after switching days with Ross Stripling, Hill responded with seven solid innings to earn his 10th victory. Pitcher wins don’t mean much, but Hill was one of the last hope for the Dodgers who had never had a season without a 10-game winner.

The lefty allowed one run on four hits, striking out seven without walking a batter. The only blemish on Hill’s night was a solo homer from Hunter Renfroe.

With a five-run lead in the ninth, the Dodgers were forced to bring in Kenley Jansen to lock the game down. The Padres had already scored a run in the inning and had the bases loaded with one out.

Up Next

The Dodgers and Padres wrap up the series with Hyun-jin Ryu (5-3, 2.18) taking the ball against Joey Lucchesi (8-8, 3.74).

Saturday Particulars

Home Runs: Pederson (24), Machado (36), Grandal (24), Renfroe (25)

WP: Rich Hill (10-5): 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 7 strikeouts

LP: Jacob Nix (2-4): 2 13 IP, 6 hits, 6 runs, 2 strikeouts

SV: Kenley Jansen (37): 23 IP, 2 strikeouts