The Los Angeles Dodgers won the first game of their NLDS rivalry game with the San Diego Padres 5-3, anchored by a hot start from their strong lineup.
It was Trea Turner and Will Smith who got the ball rolling for the Dodgers, and they’ve never looked back. Both players finished the game 2-on-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
The game started with Turner smoking a fastball into deep left field from Padres starter Mike Clevinger, only his third pitch of the game, to give the Dodgers the lead. Then after Smith doubled, Max Muncy brought him home with a single and set the tone early at 2-0.
Smith found himself in an RBI scenario at the end of the third inning when Turner doubled to lead the inning. He conceded his second double of the game, lacing it up left field to easily hit the fast turner and lead for the 3-0. Gavin Lux would create an even bigger gap, taking them 5-0 on a two-RBI double.
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But the Padres didn’t want to give up in Game 1. A three-run top of the fifth inning put them right back in the game. Wil Myers hit a solo home run just out of reach of Dodgers left fielder Trayce Thompson to put San Diego on the board after a brief referee check.
A single from Jake Cronenworth and a double from Ha-Seong Kim would give Trent Grisham a chance to add more runs and he conceded one with a groundout to first base. Austin Nola’s sacrificial fly to meet Kim took the Padres to two, 5-3.
But that’s all the Padres would get. Their best predicament came at the head of sixth when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to knock out starter Julio Urias for right assistant Evan Phillips, who let the first two runners on base.
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The Padres missed the opportunity, however, when pinch hitter Josh Bell slammed and Myers landed in a 4-6-3 doubles game to end the threat.
From there, both bullpens knocked out hitters coming on the plate, with the score staying level until the end of the game when Chris Martin scored the win for the home side.
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Urias ended with a line that read three earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts over five innings. After that, four Dodgers bullpen arms came out, placed tactically by Roberts, and the move worked in his favor.
Clevinger left the game after just 2.2 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks while striking three.
The Padres, as previously mentioned, flexed their bullpen muscles when four pitchers denied a run. Pierce Johnson went the longest, working two innings without conceding a hit and racking up two strikeouts.
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Game 2 of this NLDS will have a great pitching matchup when Yu Darvish, a former Dodger, and Clayton Kershaw, a Dodgers legend, take on Wednesday at 5:37 p.m. PT.