SAN DIEGO – With a mighty swing and short pose at home plate, Trent Grisham added some spice to what could be a sprint to the finish line between his San Diego Padres and seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers.
Grisham’s homerun off Clayton Kershaw evened the game in the sixth inning and the Padres delivered the knockout punch in a five-run seventh to defeat the Dodgers 7-2 on Monday-evening to win their eighth game in a row.
Dinelson Lamet outperformed Kershaw and rookie Jorge Oña hit a go-ahead double in the opener of a series between the two best teams in the Netherlands.
The Padres cut the lead of the Dodgers in NL West back to 1½ games. Approaching its first playoff berth since 2006, San Diego has won 12 of 14.
The most memorable moment came when Grisham hit a non-doubter in the sixth against Kershaw (5-2) who had shutout two hits and had not lost to San Diego since 2013.
Grisham posed moments after hitting his ninth homer, looked at the Padres dugout and gestured to his teammates. He then had a talk with the Dodgers dugout just before hopping on the board.
“They wanted me to run and that was about it. They told me to start a little earlier. That was it, ”Grisham said of the chatter that came out of the Dodgers’ dugout.
He said his gesture to his teammates “of course happened in the moment. It’s a big situation for a big pitcher in a big game. We’re looking forward to this series and it’s one of the biggest runs of the year. The look in. the dugout was, “Hey, let’s go, let’s get it, let’s go after it and let’s go get this game.” ”
“It was emotional, it was fun, it got us going and it was just an exciting time,” he added.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts felt that Grisham disrespected Kershaw.
“I don’t mind that guys admire a homer,” said Roberts. “It’s definitely a big game, a big hit. Really love the player. But I just felt like I was staying at home a little bit too long, especially against a guy like Clayton, who has the respect of everyone in the big leagues and what he’s done in this game, I just took an exception to that. I think there’s a certain respect you give a guy when you homage to him. “
Padres rookie manager Jayce Tingler said it was no problem.
“We’re really not worried about it,” said Tingler. “We are concerned about our boys and our team. It was a big moment in the game. It was a huge hit, which set us on fire. We have fun. We play the game well, we respect the game, but we will have fun and we will attract each other. That’s all for us. “
Lamet (3-1) took the victory thanks to an outburst in the seventh inning that chased Kershaw (5-2). Lamet tied his strikeout high with 11 while holding the Dodgers to one run and three hits. He only walked two.
Wil Myers added a solo homer in the eighth, his 13th.
Myers hit a leadoff single and Jurickson Profar had an one-out single to chase Kershaw in the seventh. Oña greeted Pedro Baez by doubling down the left-field line to give San Diego a 2-1 lead, and the Padres continued to add.
Pinch-hitter Greg Garcia grounded to first baseman Max Muncy, who couldn’t decide whether to pitch or touch first, enabling Profar to score. Grisham grounded to Muncy, who tried to get Garcia into second place, but threw the ball into left field for an error that enabled Oña to score.
Manny Machado hit a basesloaded RBI-single, and Austin Nola’s fielder’s choice accounted for the last run of the inning.
Kershaw gave up three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He hit nine and no walk.
“We want to play well if we want to beat the Padres,” said Kershaw. “They’re a good ball club. You have some guys who swing the bat really well. Lamet is clearly a really good starting pitcher and they have some other guys behind them too, a good bullpen. They are a great team this year. Eventually we might see them again in the play-offs. “
The Padres had a great chance against Kershaw in the fifth when rookie Jake Cronenworth hit a leadoff double. But Kershaw got Profar a fly-out and then eliminated rookies Oña and Jorge Mateo.
The Dodgers broke through against Lamet in the third when Austin Barnes walked with one out, moved to third base when Mookie Betts doubled down the rightfield line and scored on Corey Seager’s groundout.
“The last few outings he has been as good as anyone in the league and we have a lot of confidence and a lot of confidence when he takes the ball up the mound,” Tingler said of Lamet.
Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (2-3, 5.23 ERA) is scheduled for Tuesday night. He threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Padres and hit eight on August 12, but played no part in the decision in a 6-0 win.
Padres: Zach Davies (7-2, 2.48 ERA) heads for San Diego.
– San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 15, 2020