First came the outpouring of emotions on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Then came the outpouring of runs. The Dodgers jumped on Sean Manaea early and often in an 8-1 pasting of the Padres in the opener of a weekend series in Los Angeles.
Vin Scully was honored with a touching ceremony before the game including a pair of video tributes and a speech from the mound by manager Dave Roberts with the entire Dodgers team behind him.
Roberts even led the sellout crowd in saying “It’s time for Dodger baseball,” a signature Scully catchphrase, in unison. Because of the ceremony, the first pitch didn’t come until 7:18 p.m., eight minutes past the scheduled time.
But the show was just beginning.
First inning was key for both teams in this one, with both Tony Gonsolin and Manaea needing 30 pitches to get through the frame. Both former Nationals who became Padres this week — Juan Soto and Josh Bell — singled in their first at-bat, but Freddie Freeman snagged a hard grounder by Jake Cronenworth to end the inning without incident.
In the bottom of the inning, Manaea hit Freeman with a pitch to load the bases with nobody out, but a pair of defensive misplays helped cash them in, and then some. Will Smith hit a dribbler up the third base line for a hit, but another San Diego newcomer Brandon Drury — getting the start at the hot corner with Manny Machado at designated hitter — threw the ball away to allow two runs to score. Then Drury was unable to snag a hard grounder by Hanser Alberto that got by him for a two-run double instead of the second out of the frame.
Since the All-Star break, the Dodgers have scored 19 first-inning runs in 16 games. On the season, they’ve scored 75 runs in the opening frame, just one shy of the Yankees for most in MLB. The Dodgers also have allowed the fewest in the first inning, just 36 runs going against them to start things off. San Diego was second in fewest runs allowed, with 41 runs entering Friday, but those four runs knocked the Padres back a few spots.
Another outburst came in the third inning, with Chris Taylor hitting a two-run double in his first major league game in a month, then Cody Bellinger adding another one. Bellinger has an extra-base hit in each of his last three games facing Manaea, with home runs on September 23, 2020 (when Manaea was with Oakland) and April 24 this year in San Diego.
In addition to the pair of four-run innings, Manaea allowed ten hits to the Dodgers in this one, but was able to get through four innings, thanks to his seven strikeouts. Manaea in two starts against Los Angeles this season has allowed 15 runs on 16 hits in just 8⅓ innings.
Gonsolin after that first-inning scare also threw 22 pitches in the second, but was able to get through five innings without allowing a run. Friday was the sixth scoreless start of the season for Gonsolin, who has allowed zero or one run in 12 of his 20 starts.
- Smith had three hits on Friday, extending his hit streak to eight games, during which he’s hitting .382 (13-for-34).
- Alberto in his last eight starts is 10-for-29 (.345) with four doubles, a triple, and eight runs batted in those games, which date back to July 12.
- Trea Turner had two hits and scored once, pushing his hit total to 132 on the season. That’s second in the majors to Freeman, who was 1-for-2 Friday and scored two runs, giving him 134 hits on the season.
- Padres infielder Matthew Batten pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and things got weird. Pitcher Tyler Anderson pinch-hit for Freeman, and struck out.
- Dodgers have won 19 of their last 21 games against National League West teams, and are 33-12 against the division this season. Not so coincidentally, the Dodgers’ 13½-game lead over their Padres is their largest NL West cushion of the year to date.
Home runs: none
WP — Tony Gonsolin (13-1): 5 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 6 strikeouts
LP — Sean Manaea (6-6): 4 IP, 10 hits, 8 runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Andrew Heaney is scheduled to pitch Saturday (6:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), in what would be the first time this season he makes three consecutive starts in the majors. Mike Clevinger starts for San Diego.