The Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 1 of their NLDS rivalry game with the San Diego Padres 5-3, anchored by a strong start from their powerhouse roster.
It was Trea Turner and Will Smith for the Dodgers who got the ball rolling, and they never looked back. Both players finished the game at 2 on 4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
The game started with Turner smoking a fastball on 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 drove it home with a single, setting the tone early at 2-0.
Smith found himself in an RBI scenario late in the third inning when Turner doubled to start the inning. He collected his second brace of the game, lacing it to left field to easily score the quick Turner, making it 3-0. Gavin Lux would create an even bigger gap, pushing it to 5-0 on a two-RBI brace.
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But the Padres weren’t going to fold in Game 1. A fifth-inning three-run top got them back in the game. Wil Myers hit a solo home run that was just out of Dodgers left fielder Trayce Thompson’s reach to bring San Diego to the board after a short review from the umpire.
A single from Jake Cronenworth and a double from Ha-Seong Kim would give Trent Grisham the chance to score a few more runs, and he collected one with a groundout at first base. Austin Nola’s sacrificial volley 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 retire starter Julio Urias for right-handed reliever Evan Phillips, who let the first two runners get on base.
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However, the Padres squandered the opportunity, as pinch hitter Josh Bell hit and Myers launched into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
From there, both relievers stopped batters who came to the plate, with the score remaining even until late in the game when Chris Martin earned the stoppage to earn the home team victory.
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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, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out three.
The Padres, as mentioned, flexed their bullpen muscle with four pitchers not allowing a run. Pierce Johnson was the longest, two innings of work, allowing no hits and two strikeouts.
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Game 2 of this NLDS will have a great pitching game, as Yu Darvish, a former Dodger, and Clayton Kershaw, a Dodgers legend, face off Wednesday at 5:37 p.m. PT.