Margot’s two HRs help Padres knock off Dodgers
LOS ANGELES — Youth reigned supreme at Dodger Stadium on Friday. Grit was shown and determination was on display.
The team that showed so much resolve? It was none other than the 50-64 San Diego Padres.
In a matchup that looked lopsided at best, the upstart Padres showed they were a worthy foe in a 4-3 victory over the playoff-bound Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers might be known for their young studs like Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager, but the Padres countered with a kid like Manuel Margot (two home runs) and another in Jose Pirela, who had not played more than 37 games in a year before this season.
The Dodgers do not figure to be fazed for the remainder of the three-game series over the weekend. But as Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling observed, games on Saturday and Sunday do not figure to be a cakewalk.
“Obviously, in the division, you’re going to have pride and not go down,” said the Dodgers’ right-hander, who gave up both Margot’s second home run and Pirela’s game-winning blast. “They were going to come in swinging and they want to win as much as anyone. It’s the same as when the Giants come in here. They are in a down year, but they’re going to fight. We’ll have our hands full the next two days.”
At 81-34, the Dodgers hardly have reason to be alarmed. They lost at home for just the 14th time all season and went down in their own park for the first time since July 21 against the Atlanta Braves. The defeat snapped their eight-game home win streak.
Margot continued to show he is a keeper for the Padres with his second multi-home run game of the season.
“It’s exciting to see what (Margot) is doing,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “The last three weeks, he’s been driving the ball out of the ballpark with some regularity. He’s hitting balls hard consistently.”
But the biggest home run of the night was delivered by Pirela, who gave the Padres the lead for good with a shot into the field-level seats in left field. Pirela has struck out in his first two trips to the plate against Dodgers starter Rich Hill, and grounded back to the pitcher in the fifth.
“That’s fun to see that type of player on the baseball field,” Green said of Pirela. “It doesn’t matter what happened in his first three at-bats. He’s going to show up and compete in his last one and he got a pitch up and put a charge into it.”
The loss spoiled a solid outing from Hill, who remained in the game despite getting hit on the neck by a Clayton Richard pitch in the fourth inning. The left-hander squared around to bunt when the Richard pitch glanced off his throat.
The veteran was taken to the hospital after the game for precautionary reasons, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. X-rays on his throat area were negative.
Hill struck out nine batters but lacked the sharpness he showed in July while winning National League pitcher of the month honors. He gave up two runs, five hits and three walks, his highest walk total since he had three on June 21.
Despite giving up four walks and eight hits, Richard kept the damage to a minimum, allowing three runs in six innings.
The Dodgers once again got an early lift from rookie sensation Cody Bellinger, but this time it did not come from his impressive power swing. Bellinger’s first-inning RBI single gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead.
Margot hit his first home run of the night in the third inning, giving him 11 for the season. Corey Spangenberg gave the Padres a 2-1 lead, delivering one run in the single when Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig threw out Hunter Renfroe at the plate.
Bellinger was at it again in the Dodgers’ half of the third, contributing his second RBI single of the night. It was the young slugger’s 21st multi-RBI game of the season and third in his last six games.
Afterward, Bellinger could only marvel at his Hill’s desire to remain in the game.
“I didn’t expect him to stay in the game and I see him get up and run to first and I was like, ‘This guy’s crazy,’” Bellinger said. “I think that speaks for him and how competitive he is. I think he has a (Clayton) Kershaw mindset when he’s out there. If he has a bad pitch he’s (angry) and himself and I think he expects to do really well every outing.”
An Austin Barnes RBI double gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning, but Margot answered in the seventh with his second home run of the game and 12th of the season, off Stripling. It was Margot’s second two-homer game this year.
Pirela added a homer in the eighth to give the Padres a 4-3 lead.
NOTES: In his 10 home starts this season, Dodgers LHP Rich Hill is now 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA and has held batters to a .189 batting average. ... Dodgers C Austin Barnes, who delivered an RBI double in the fifth inning, has now gone 8-for-17 (.471) in his last five games against the Padres with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs. ... Padres LHP Brad Hand recorded his ninth save of the season and delivered third career four-plus out save. ... Since July 19, Padres CF Manuel Margot is batting .316 (24-for-76) with 11 runs, three doubles, seven home runs and 13 RBIs. ... The Dodgers were 19-0 when 1B Cody Bellinger had two RBIs in a game, losing for the first time this season when the rookie drove in multiple runs.