Padres win third straight against Dodgers
SAN DIEGO — Andy Green was talking about Jhoulys Chacin, but the San Diego Padres manager might as well have been talking about the effort his ballclub put in this weekend against the major leagues’ best team.
“Outstanding from beginning to end,” Green said after Chacin allowed three runs (two earned) over seven innings to lead San Diego to a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Padres won the final three games of the four-game series, marking the first time since June 2013 that San Diego beat Los Angeles in three consecutive games.
“It was a great effort, there have been steps in the right direction,” Green added after San Diego won the series’ final three games in a span of 29 hours.
Erick Aybar put the Padres ahead for good with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Jose Pirela added a solo homer in the fifth, and Wil Myers cut off a Dodger rally with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the seventh as the Padres handed the Dodgers an eighth loss in nine games.
“I can assure you that this won’t break us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When you’re the team that we are and you’ve had the season we’ve had, teams are gonna want to go out there and play well against you.
“Essentially, you’re going to get the best of every team, and that’s what’s supposed to happen. It’s up to us to go out there and answer the bell.”
Since Aug. 25, the Dodgers have gone from 91-36 to 92-44.
There were two silver linings for the Dodgers on Sunday.
First baseman Cody Bellinger hit his 36th homer in the ninth inning off Padres closer Brad Hand. With the 418-foot drive to right, Bellinger eclipsed Mike Piazza as the record-holder for the most homers in a season by a Dodgers rookie.
“It feels great,” Bellinger said of holding the record. “Like I said yesterday, it was kind of in the back of my mind. ... To be in the same sentence with Piazza is awesome, and now to pass him feels pretty special.”
Los Angeles left-hander Alex Wood returned from the disabled list after missing 12 days with an inflamed SC joint, and he allowed four runs on seven hits — including both Padres homers — and three walks with seven strikeouts. He did took his second loss in 16 decisions.
“Mechanically,” I’m close,” Wood said. “Today was probably the best I’ve felt in my last few starts. Obviously, I was a little bit rusty.”
Still, the day belonged to Chacin and San Diego. And the weekend also belonged to the Padres, whose only loss was in a 1-0 pitching duel Friday when Clayton Kershaw bested rookie Dinelson Lamet by the margin of a solo home run.
“I was feeling good and commanding the fastball,” said Chacin, who gave up five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. Chacin (12-10) lowered his ERA to a season-low 3.96. He is 8-3 at Petco Park with a 1.91 ERA.
Kirby Yates threw a scoreless eighth, and Hand picked up his 15th save despite giving up Bellinger’s homer.
Green thought a key to the game was the Padres’ resilience.
When the Dodgers scored two in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead, the Padres responded with two in the bottom of the inning. After the Dodgers scored a run in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to 4-3, the Padres scored two in the bottom of the inning on Myers’ single.
Chacin believed the turning point came in the top of the seventh. A leadoff triple by Bellinger and a sacrifice fly cut the deficit to a run. Yasiel Puig followed with a double but had to hold at second when Alex Verdugo hit an infield single toward third.
The Dodgers had two on with one out and the tying run at second.
Green visited Chacin on the mound with the idea of going to the bullpen. However, Chacin talked Green into letting him face former Padre Logan Forsythe, who hit a one-hopper to Yangervis Solarte at the third base bag. Solarte got the force at third and fired a strike across the infield to complete the double play.
“I told Andy, ‘Let me finish this inning.’ The double play, that was the game right there,” Chacin aid.
The game see-sawed for the first four innings on an exchange of homers.
The Padres took a 1-0 lead in a strange first inning. The mini-rally started with a two-out walk drawn by Pirela, who moved to third on a single by Myers. The Padres have scored on a double steal of home twice this season. But with Myers going with Solarte at the plate, Wood threw a wild pitch, allowing Pirela to slide home with the game’s first run.
Los Angeles’ Chris Taylor opened the fourth with his 19th homer of the season — a 419-foot drive to left on full-count pitch, tying the game.
Curtis Granderson then reached second when first baseman Myers fielded a grounder but threw wildly past Chacin covering the base and into the Padres’ dugout for a two-base error. Justin Turner immediately followed with a double to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, although Chacin retired the next three hitters to prevent further damage.
The Padres had regained the lead on homers by Aybar and Pirela.
Right fielder Matt Szczur led off the bottom of the fourth with a long double to left-center, and Aybar hit the first pitch from Wood for a 378-foot homer to left, putting San Diego up 3-2.
“I made bad pitches on back-to-back pitches,” Wood said.
Pirela hit a 410-foot drive into the second deck in left with one out in the fifth to make it 4-2.
NOTES: The Dodgers made no guarantees that OF Joc Pederson will automatically return to Los Angeles from Oklahoma City Tuesday when the Triple-A Pacific Coast League season ends. ... Meanwhile, the Padres’ Triple-A El Paso affiliate could reach the playoffs for a third straight season, complicating San Diego’s call-up plans. The Chihuahuas are the defending PCL champions. ... San Diego won a series against the Dodgers for the first time this season.