LOS ANGELES (AP) – Although theknow it’s only spring, every remarkable thing in their seven games over the past ten days proved this matchup was far more critical than your average April baseball. When a distinctly autumnal chill settled in Chavez Ravine while their seventh exhausting meeting stretched into extra innings Sunday night, both teams and their fans could be forgiven for , colder nights possibly on the way.
“A good preview of what should come in October,” San Diego’s Eric Hosmer said.
The Padres could take plenty of extra warmth back home after a stirring comeback, and an impressive finish gave them an early advantage in this unfolding showdown.
Fernando Tatís Jr. scored on Hosmer’s sacrifice fly in the 11th inning. The Padres rallied from a late six-run deficit for an 8-7 victory over Los Angeles and theirin seven essentially thrilling games against the Dodgers.
Manny Machado delivered the tyingin the ninth inning for the Padres. their third win in this four-game series between Southern California rivals in an appropriately dramatic fashion.
“I think we cade a statement,” said Hosmer, who also had an RBI single in the eighth. “The whole baseball world was watching these games, and I think we showed we can compete with these guys. We respect who they are, andwhat they’ve done, but down from them.”
Theentering the seventh but scored two runs in ehe following three innings to force the defending World Series champs into extras. After scoring an 11th-inning run without a hit, won for the fourth time in its last five matchups with the powerhouse Dodgers, who took the first two at Petco Park last weekend.
“For us, it felt like a lot of missed opportunities, and then some good moments, but we weren’t able to shut the door on them when we needed to,” said Chris Taylor, whoin the sixth for Los Angeles. “We know we didn’t play our best baseball, and that’s one where we’ve got to take care of business and win.”
Los Angeles failed to score in the 10th with the bases loaded and one out. Tim Hill (1-2)by striking out pinch-hitter Clayton Kershaw and rookie DJ Peters, who could have ended the game if he hadn’t swung at a fastball well above the strike zone on a total count.
Mark Melancon then earned his eighth save by retiring Mookie Betts and Corey Seager with two runners on to secure the rubber match, which lasted a few seconds less than five hours.
“I think that the net (result) is they outplayed us,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who didn’t hide his distaste for his bullpen’s poor performance. “All the games were close, but over seven games, they outplayed us. … It’s more about us. When we pitch well, we win.”
Pinch-hitter Sheldon Neuse homered before Taylor’s three-run shot in a five-run sixth inning by the Dodgers.
But Victor Caratini drove in two runs in the seventh for San Diego, and he singled and scored in the ninth before Machado broughtTatís, who had hit his fifth homer in three games way back in the fourth inning.
The Dodgers’ bullpen wasted a great start by Dustin May, who yielded two hits and struck out a career-best ten over six dominant innings.
Joe Musgrove labored through three innings for the Padres, giving up two runs and three– but the Dodgers also stranded nine runners in the first five innings.