The Dodgers beat the Padres in an offense filled game, but Yasmani Grandal stole the show.
Scott Kazmir struggled greatly in the first inning. He could not seem to find the strike zone. He threw a lot of high balls and walked two batters. Melvin Upton Jr. singled to right and then stole second to run his way into scoring position. Wil Myers followed him up with a single to score a run. Derek Norris walked and Alexei Ramriez grounded into a fielder’s choice. During that fielder’s choice, Norris ran into Chase Utley. Utley was in the base path, but he was going towards the ball. Norris leaded into Utley’s shoulder and both men fell. Norris was later called out by the second base umpire so the run did not score. One more pop up and Kazmir was out of an inning where he threw over 30 pitches.
In the bottom of the first inning, with two outs Justin Turner sent one yard and all of a sudden the game was tied. The Dodgers would continue their two out rally when Adrian Gonzalez singled to center and Yasiel Puig doubled to deep center. Gonzo turned his wheels on and ended up scoring from first on the play. He looked to be out, but he avoided the tag which gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Yasmani Grandal came up right after and hit a 2-run home run. By the time the bottom of the first ended, the Dodgers had a 4-1 lead.
The Padres bounced back quickly. Pitcher, Andrew Cashner singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then Upton Jr. came up and sent another ball to the stands. With one swing of the bat, the game was now 4 to 3, Dodgers.
In the bottom of the second, Andrew Toles collected his first major league hit and it was a double to deep center! Kazmir bunted him over, but the Dodgers left him stranded at third. Kazmir ended up striking out the side in the third inning after allowing two singles, but by the time he made it out of the inning, he had already thrown 85 pitches. Scott Van Slyke would pinch hit for Kazmir in the bottom of the third. Kazmir went three innings, allowed six hits, three earned runs, walked three and struck out five batters tonight.
Gonzalez led off the third with a walk and Puig singled to center. Grandal came up to the plate and thought one home run on the night was not enough. He homered again to give the Dodgers a few more insurance runs. Howie Kendrick got in on the fun when he homered right after Grandal. The Dodgers just hit back to back home runs and had four home runs on the night. Vin Scully pointed out on the broadcast that the Dodgers have now hit 97 home runs this season. The first three innings of tonight’s ball game lasted 98 minutes.
Louis Coleman came in for the fourth inning and allowed a lead off home run to Upton Jr. Since the 22 of May the Dodgers relievers have pitched in 162.1 innings. They also have a 2.00 ERA which is the best in MLB, however that is way too many innings for a bullpen as we approach the half way mark of the season.
The Dodgers offense was back at it again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Turner led off with a double and advanced to third thanks to a throwing error. Gonzalez followed Turner up with a walk and Puig hit a sacrifice fly to score Turner. With just four innings in the book, the Dodgers led by a score of 9-4.
The Padres came back in the fifth inning. Christian Bethancourt led off the inning with a single, Ramirez singled to right and Alex Dickerson singled to load the bases. With the bases loaded and one out, Adam Rosales hit a sacrifice fly to score one run. Then Brett Wallace singled to score another. J.P. Howell was pitching, but the two runs were charged to Coleman. Upton Jr. came up with his fourth hit when he hit a little pop fly to load the bases again. That was the end of the line for Howell as Dave Roberts made a double switch to bring in Trayce Thompson and Pedro Baez. Baez got Myers to hit a comebacker to the mound on the first pitch and turned it into a double play! After three relief pitchers, the half inning was finally over.
Grandal got hit in the jaw on a foul ball in the top of the sixth inning. The Dodgers trainers and Roberts came out to check on him, but Grandal insisted on staying in the game and got back behind the plate.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Turner walked and Gonzo doubled to deep right. Turner was on first and tried to score on the play. he should have been easily safe, but on the replay you can see that he basically came to a dead stop at second base before starting to run again towards home. Gonzo meanwhile made it to second standing up. Turner’s running hesitation cost the Dodgers a run and an out.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Grandal decided he was not done and he hit his third home run of the night! He is only the third Dodger in history to hit three home runs in one game. My favorite thing about Grandal’s plate appearances tonight is that he had three home runs and the one that was not a home run, was a bunt single. At this point in the game he was 4-4 with 6RBI’s and 3HR’s. Matt Kemp was 0-4 with 1 strike out. In case anyone was still wondering, the Dodgers won the trade.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Puig walked which brought Grandal up to the plate for the last time. Grandal promptly singled up the middle. No doubt about it he was the player of the night. He would finish the game 5-5. His single meant the Dodgers had runners on the corner with two outs as A.J. Ellis came to the plate as a pinch hitter for Joe Blanton. Ellis grounded out to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the ninth inning with a four run lead behind him. Jansen got the Padres to go 1-2-3 and with that the Dodgers officially got the victory.
Tonight’s game belonged to Grandal. Tomorrow the Dodgers will face the Padres in game three of the series and first pitch is scheduled for 4:15 PM.