The Dodgers beat the Padres 3-2 in a close nail-biting win Thursday night to claim sole possession of first place in the NL West for the first time this season.
The Dodgers defeated the Padres Thursday night 3-2 to put themselves in first place for the first time this season. Ross Stripling pitched six shutout innings and Kenley Jansen gutted out a save to seal the Dodgers victory. Matt Kemp had a pinch-hit RBI single and Joc Pederson followed with an RBI single to put the Dodgers up 3-0.
After Daniel Hudson gave up two runs, Dylan Floro and Kenley Jansen combined to blank the Padres in the eighth and ninth inning to preserve the Dodgers series victory. Next up the Dodgers will head home for three more games with the Anaheim Angels to wrap up the first half of the 2018 season.
- Ross Stripling pitched six shutout innings allowing no runs and struck out five to complete his all-star first half. Stripling leads the Dodgers with eight wins and he holds a 2.08 ERA which is the second-lowest ERA in the National League behind Jacob deGrom who has a 1.68 ERA. Stripling showed a lot of veteran poise last night as he struggled with command at times but worked his way out of a couple jams to pick up his eighth victory.
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- Justin Turner tweaked his groin/hamstring Thursday night and is not going to be available Friday night. Without the services of the designated hitter this time around, the Dodgers should strongly consider holding Justin Turner out for the Angels series and letting him get an extended break with the all-star break looming. The Dodgers will need Turner for the second half and they could always play Max Muncy at third base to fill in for JT.
- The Orioles have reportedly been eying Dustin May in prospective deals with the Dodgers involving Manny Machado. Dustin May showed why on Thursday night as he pitched six-plus innings allowing two earned runs and struck out twelve batters. May is putting together a very good season for the Quakes and he should get moved up to Double-A at some point this season.
- The Dodgers take over of first place yesterday is surprisingly the first time they have been in first place all season. The Dodgers dug themselves into a deep hole to begin the season falling as many as eleven games under 500 but they have been one of the best teams in the National League since June. The one positive thing is that the Dodgers still seem to have another gear they are capable of reaching. The rotation hasn’t been healthy all season and in the second half, the Dodgers can finally run through a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, Walker Buehler, and Alex Wood a few times at least.