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Will Smith carries Dodgers to another win

The Dodgers record improves to 72-39.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With one swing of his bat, Will Smith changed the outcome of Thursday’s game against the Padres, propelling the Dodgers to an 8-2 victory. He hit a clutch grand slam in the sixth inning to put the Dodgers ahead after trailing 2-1.

It’s hard to believe what this kid is doing, but it’s real. Talk about Yasiel Puig debut vibes. He has already hit an impressive six home runs in 14 games this year, but what is more impressive is that four are go-ahead home runs.

It was Smith who broke open the game and created momentum for more runs to score. He also provided Clayton Kershaw with much needed run support.

Kershaw pitched his 19th game of the season and allowed the Padres to score a pair of runs by the fourth inning. With this outing, Kershaw has still pitched at least six innings in all of his starts this year. However, he didn’t show his best stuff or command, which contributed to his relatively low strikeout count (5) and high walk count (5). Though he didn’t strike out as many as he is used to, he did become the third all-time Dodgers strikeout leader (2,397), surpassing Sandy Koufax.

Before the sixth inning rally, the Dodgers struggled against Friars pitcher Joey Lucchesi, as they only got three hits and walked once. The only time they scored was via Cody Bellinger’s solo home run in the second inning. Smith’s contributions were ultimately what helped Kershaw earn his 10th win of the season.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw earned his 10th win of the season on Aug. 1.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Kelly, Dylan Floro and Yimi García each pitched a scoreless inning of relief behind Kershaw’s start.

AJ Pollock was hot at the plate, going 3-for-4 and scoring two runs. Overall, the team was 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left five runners stranded.

Thursday particulars

WP: Clayton Kershaw (10-2), 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 K

LP: Joey Lucchesi (6-7), 5 23 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Home runs: Hunter Renfroe (30), Cody Bellinger (35), Will Smith (6)

Box score

Up next

The Dodgers will try to go for the series split on Friday. They will send Dustin May to the mound to make his major league debut against Eric Lauer.