Dodgers Recaps: It was a Grand(al) Pitching Duel at Petco Park
It was a good old-fashioned pitching duel at Petco Park on a foggy Friday night. Flame thrower Andrew Cashner and fair-haired Zack Greinke were locked into a one-run battle until Carl Crawford unloaded his first homerun of the season in the seventh. Greinke got into some bases loaded trouble in the second inning, but his tenacity would not allow the Padres to score through seven solid innings of work.
Unfortunately Yasiel Puig re-aggravated his strained left hamstring running out a ground ball in the sixth inning and had to be pulled from the game. Surely the 96-mph Andrew Cashner fastball which drilled Yasiel Puig on the left knee didn’t help matters. Puig was on the ground for awhile before he took first base after he was hit by the pitch in the first inning. Adrian Gonzalez then proceeded to hit into a double play, and that was not an ideal start to the series opener.
Apr 24, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) is checked by a trainer after being hit in the leg by a pitch from San Diego Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner (not pictured) during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Predictably Matt Kemp continued to give his former team a hard time. In the home half of the first, Kemp managed an infield hit which deflected off of Zack Greinke. Kemp went 2-for-4 on the night.
Yasmani Grandal was welcomed back to San Diego, and he promptly hit a double off the left field wall in his first at bat. It looked as though it might have hit the foul pole, but it was just shy of going out. Juan Uribe singled up the middle with two outs, and the Dodgers plated the first run of the game as Grandal came home.
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Grandal had a good night at the plate going 2-for-3 with a walk. Crawford also had two hits including the big homerun.
Greinke had to pitch himself out of a bases loaded jam with no outs in the bottom of the second. After the leadoff walk to Yonder Alonso, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks hit back-to-back singles. Greinke reared back to strike out Alexi Amarista and Andrew Cashner. Wil Myers hit it squarely, but Howie Kendrick was there to snag the line drive for the final out. Phew.
Yasmani Grandal looked really comfortable back at Petco Park, and he singled in the top of the fourth for his second base hit of the game.
The Padres stranded another two runners in the fourth and they stranded eight overall in the game.
Cashner continued to pitch very well to everyone not named Yasmani or Carl. He sent the Dodgers down in order in the fifth. Greinke countered with a perfect inning as well in the bottom of the fifth.
Dodgers 3 8 0
Padres 0 6 0
WP- Greinke (3-0)
LP- Cashner (1-3)
S- Garcia (1)
HR- Crawford (1)
In the sixth, Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick hit consecutive singles with one out. Yasmani Grandal can’t come up with the big hit this time, and he grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Andre Ethier came into the game to replace the injured Yasiel Puig in right field for the bottom of the sixth inning, and the “back up” outfielder had a basehit which brought his batting average to an even .300 on the season.
Carl Crawford, who has been struggling at the plate recently, crushed a solo homerun to right center field off a Cashner changeup! The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead on Crawford’s first homerun of the season.
The Dodgers turned a fantastic 3-6-1 double play in the bottom of the seventh with help from Greinke who covered first base, and Zack’s night is done.
Zack Greinke pitched 7 innings and allowed no runs on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks on 106 pitches.
Andrew Cashner pitched 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk on 96 pitches.
Pedro Baez came in to relieve Zack Greinke in the eighth, and he allowed a two-out double to Matt Kemp which luckily stayed in the park. Rollins knocked down a well hit ball by Justin Upton. It was a single, but Jimmy kept it in the infield. Baez couldn’t get the final out, so Don Mattingly had to bring in Paco Rodriguez to face Alonso. On one pitch Paco retired Alonso with some help from Rollins and Gonzalez who handled the grounder and pick.
Grandal walked and Crawford came up with his second big hit of the night, a double thanks to Upton’ s bobble in left field in the top of the ninth against Padres reliever Kevin Quakenbush. Joc Pederson‘s sacrifice fly brought in the third Dodger run of the night.
It was up to Yimi Garcia to shut the door on the Padres in the bottom of the ninth. He blew Derek Norris away with a 95-mph fastball. Then Will Middlebrooks went down on strikes as well. Amarista popped out to Uribe in foul territory for the final out. Yimi picked up his first major league save.
"“He has stuff like Alejandro Peña.” –Orel Hershiser on Yimi Garcia"
There’s nothing like a shutout to make those ugly memories of that so-called series up north go away.
The Dodgers improve to 10-6 on the season. Saturday’s matchup at Petco Park features Brandon McCarthy versus Ian Kennedy.