LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers and San Diego Padres pulled their budding rivalry back off the shelf and took another swallow Thursday night.
Yep – still good.
After last weekend’s exciting three-game series at Petco Park, everyone just wanted a replay. They got two in the eighth inning Thursday night. The Dodgers split the pair and came up short, losing 3-2 to the Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Tied after seven innings, the Padres pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth.
Justin Turner led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and Will Smith followed by lofting a high fly ball down the left-field line. Jurickson Profar raced over and made a diving attempt as the ball bounced off the chalked line.
Umpire Jim Reynolds signaled the ball had landed foul but a replay review overruled him. Smith was awarded a double, pumping life into a potential Dodger rally.
After Max Muncy grounded out, A.J. Pollock was intentionally walked to load the bases for Sheldon Neuse, a late addition to the lineup after both Chris Taylor and Zach McKinstry were scratched with lower back stiffness.
Neuse hit a bullet, a 108.7-mph one-hopper that Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth somehow smothered and tossed to shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to start an inning-ending double play.
That went to replay as well but the call was confirmed and the Dodgers’ rally was snuffed out.
The dramatic finish followed a slow build as Walker Buehler and Ryan Weathers dominated hitters, allowing a total of five hits through the first six innings.
The youngest pitcher in the majors this season, Weathers made his major-league debut in the postseason (one of only two players in baseball history who can say that). Counting that relief appearance in the NL Division Series, the 21-year-old left-hander has pitched in six big-league games, half of them against the Dodgers. He hasn’t allowed a run in 10-2/3 innings against them.
Held to two hits in Seattle on Wednesday, the Dodgers managed just one against Weathers – a leadoff single by Buehler in the third inning. On a chilly night at Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers hit three long fly balls that died short of the fences – a 380-foot fly out to center field by Will Smith, a 361-foot drive to the wall in left by Pollock and a 377-foot fly out to right-center by Neuse.
Buehler, meanwhile, was rediscovering his putaway pitch and striking out a season-high nine in seven innings (he had no more than four strikeouts in any of his first three starts). But the Padres put three singles together for a run in the fourth and Trent Grisham sent a 1-and-0 fastball deep into the right field pavilion for another.
The Dodgers swallowed that 2-0 lead with two swings in the seventh inning off Padres reliever Emilio Pagan. Pollock and Neuse hit back-to-back home runs. It was the first major-league homer for Neuse.
Those back-to-back blows were the last of the 21st-century offense for the night.
The Padres put together the winning rally in the eighth against Blake Treinen. Profar and Victor Caratini led off with back-to-back singles, Profar going to third on Caratini’s hit. When Tatis hit a ground ball to short, the Dodgers turned a double play as the winning run scored.
After Cronenworth short-circuited their potential rally in the eighth, Padres closer Mark Melancon struck out the side in the ninth.
More to come on this story.