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Padres avoid sweep with late rally, win 4-2

Padres score four runs and Dodgers hopefully only lose the game

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

The Dodgers have still not swept a four-game series against the Padres since 2009. A ninth-inning rally gives the Padres a 4-2 win and they salvage one game this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

After Craig Kimbrel struck out Manny Machado to start the top of the ninth, Jake Croenworth singled off Kimbrel, Luke Voit doubled home the tying run and then Eric Hosmer singled to right to score Voit.

Kimbrel may or may not have been affected by being struck by Croenworth’s 100 + MPH line drive that led to an infield single.

Yency Almonte replaced Kimbrel and he gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Ha-Seong Kim which ultimately provided the winning margin.

Mookie Betts and Trea Turner tried to ignite a final rally in the bottom of the ninth. Betts hit his second double of the game and Turner singled him to third. Freddie Freeman lined out to right field to score Betts but then Will Smith grounded out to end the game.

Prior to the ninth inning excitement, the game rested on two left arms, Clayton Kershaw and MacKenzie Gore. Gore, a first-round pick for the Padres in 2017 was making his first career start against the Dodgers and he pitched very well.

After falling behind 1-0 after back-to-back doubles from Mookie Betts and Trea Turner in the first inning, Gore held the Dodgers scoreless for the rest of his start.

Gore ended up pitching 5⅔ innings, allowing just the one run and five hits. He struck out three and walked four.

And Gore did this while going against Clayton Kershaw, who came back from his last outing at Coors Field to pitch a gem this Sunday afternoon.

Kershaw at times had all three of his main pitches working, his fastball was located well on both sides of the plate, he got his swing and misses with his slider and his video highlight curve ball was on point.

Kershaw pitched seven shutout innings, striking out eight against four hits and a walk.

But the Dodgers, who saw Betts thrown out at home on a Freeman single earlier in the game, could not expand the lead and in the end, that was the reason the Dodgers are leaving Dodger Stadium with a smaller lead over the Padres then maybe they thought they would have had an hour or so ago.

The Dodgers have 12 games left before the All-Star Break, nine will be against teams well under .500, it will be interesting to see how they end up in a couple of weeks.

Sunday particulars

Home runs:

WP — Nick Martinez (3-3): 2⅓ IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts

LP — Craig Kimbrel (1-4): ⅓ IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 1 strikeout

SV — Taylor Rogers (23): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 strikeout

Up next

The Dodgers will continue their home stand with a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies beginning tomorrow evening. Two left-handers, Julio Urías and Kyle Freeland ,will be the respective starting pitchers. Reminder that due to holiday fireworks display, first pitch is at 6:10 p.m. and the game will be on SportsNetLA.