November 28, 2022

Padres pull out 5-3 victory over Dodgers, tie NLDS 1-all

Manny Machado homered on a breaking ball from Clayton Kershaw in the first inning on Wednesday night. (Ashley Landis/AP)

LOS ANGELES — Manny Machado homered early and added an RBI double off Clayton Kershaw, and Jurickson Profar singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning as the San Diego Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Wednesday to even their NL Division Series at a game apiece.

The wild-card Padres beat the rival Dodgers for the first time in a postseason game. San Diego was swept 3-0 by the Dodgers in a 2020 Division Series and lost Game 1 of this series Tuesday.

Dropped from first to seventh in the batting order for matchup purposes, Profar grounded a single to right field in the sixth off reliever Brusdar Graterol, who took the loss. Jake Cronenworth scored for a 4-3 lead.

Cronenworth homered off Blake Treinen in the eighth to give San Diego some insurance, and Josh Hader earned his first four-out save since August 2020 with Milwaukee.

Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and Trea Turner went deep for the NL West champion Dodgers.

The teams traded one-run leads on a night when two of baseball’s elite pitchers — Kershaw and Yu Darvish of the Padres — got knocked around. In the middle innings, it became a battle of the bullpens for the second straight game.

Hader, who got the final out of the eighth, gave up a two-out double to Freeman off the right-center wall in the ninth. That brought up Will Smith as the potential tying run at the plate. But he flied out to right to end the game.

After an off day Thursday, the best-of-five series resumes with Game 3 on Friday in San Diego.

Cronenworth also drove in a run with a groundout in the third for the Padres.

Freeman, Muncy and Turner each hit a solo homer for the Dodgers, whose only lead was a 2-1 advantage in the second. Baseball’s highest-scoring team in the regular season struggled to hit in the clutch.

Darvish, who got the win, allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings and had at least one baserunner in every inning. The right-hander struck out seven and walked two. Kershaw gave up three runs and six hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out six and eventually settled down to retire his final nine batters in a row.

In the sixth, the Dodgers made two nifty defensive plays, but couldn’t keep the Padres from taking the lead.

Trent Grisham bunted into a fielder’s choice to Graterol. He charged toward the third-base foul line, picked up the ball barehanded and threw sidearm to Smith, who made the tag on a head-first sliding Wil Myers to save a run. Graterol glanced toward his dugout and spread his hands as if to say, “How about that?”

Cody Bellinger ended the inning with an unlikely over-the-shoulder catch after tracking the ball with a swerving running pattern.

The Dodgers had a big chance to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth with runners on the corners.

Muncy hit a shot to deep right that chased Darvish. A stunned Muncy stopped at first base, apparently thinking the ball would be caught by Juan Soto, but it went over his head near the bullpen gate. Will Smith, who reached on an infield single to second, advanced to third with no outs.

But the Dodgers were unable to cash in. Robert Suarez came in struck out Justin Turner and then Gavin Lux grounded into a double play to end the inning, leaving the sellout crowd of 53,122 stunned.

The Dodgers came up short again in the seventh.

With nervous fans on their feet chanting “Let’s go, Dodgers!,” they loaded the bases with two outs after an intentional walk to Freeman. But Smith flied out to center to end the threat.

Yency Almonte struck out the Padres in the top of the seventh, with Ha-Seong Kim, Soto and Machado going down swinging. Tommy Kahnle struck out Soto, Machado and Brandon Drury in a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Dodgers’ bullpen tossed four scoreless innings in a 5-3 victory to open the series. The Padres’ relievers retired the final 14 batters in Game 1.

BIRD DELAY

A large bird flew into the stadium and landed in shallow right center with two outs in the eighth. It sat on the grass as Lux singled to right.

The grounds crew rushed out with a blue plastic trash bin, but the bird took off. It flew all the way to near the Dodgers’ on-deck circle, where Bellinger was standing. He edged away from it as it landed.

As the crew approached again, the bird flew to the infield near third base. A worker rushed over the put a towel over the bird and dropped it into the bin.

UP NEXT

LHP Blake Snell will start Game 3 for the Padres in their first postseason game in front of fans at Petco Park in 16 years. The Dodgers are considering LHP Tyler Anderson, a 15-game winner, or RH Tony Gonsolin, who won 16 games in a career-best regular season.