The Los Angeles Dodgers took the first game of their NLDS rivalry matchup with the San Diego Padres, 5-3, anchored by a hot start from their potent lineup.
It was Trea Turner and Will Smith for the Dodgers that got the ball rolling, and they never looked back. Both players finished the game going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
The game began with Turner smoking a fastball off Padres starter Mike Clevinger, just his third pitch of the game, to deep left field to give the Dodgers the lead. Then, after Smith doubled, Max Muncy brought him home with a single, setting the tone early at 2-0.
Smith found himself in an RBI scenario in the bottom of the third inning when Turner doubled to lead off the inning. He cashed in on his second double of the game, lacing it to left field to easily score the speedy Turner, making it 3-0. Gavin Lux would create an even further gap, pushing it to 5-0 on a two-RBI double.
But the Padres weren’t going to lay down in Game 1. A three-run top of the fifth inning brought them right back into the game. Wil Myers smacked a solo home run that was just out of the reach of Dodgers left fielder Trayce Thompson to get San Diego on the board after a short umpire review.
A single by Jake Cronenworth and a double by Ha-Seong Kim would give Trent Grisham the chance to knock in some more runs, and he cashed in on one with a groundout to first base. Austin Nola’s sacrifice fly to score Kim brought the Padres within two, 5-3.
But that’s all the Padres would get. Their best situation was in the top of the sixth when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to take out starter Julio Urias for righty reliever Evan Phillips, who let the first two runners get on base.
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However, the Padres squandered the chance, as pinch hitter Josh Bell struck out and Myers grounded out into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
From there, both bullpens shut down the hitters that came to the plate, with the score staying the same up until the end of the game when Chris Martin got the save to notch the win for the home team.
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Urias finished with a line that read three earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts over five innings. Four Dodgers bullpen arms came out after that, tactically placed by Roberts and the move worked in his favor.
As for Clevinger, he left the game after just 2.2 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out three.
The Padres, as mentioned, did flex their bullpen muscle with four pitchers not allowing a run. Pierce Johnson went the longest, two innings of work, without allowing a hit and collecting two strikeouts.
Game 2 of this NLDS will have a great pitching matchup, as Yu Darvish, a former Dodger, and Clayton Kershaw, a Dodgers legend, face each other on Wednesday at 5:37 p.m. PT.