Los Angeles —The San Diego Padres has one the most potent lineup in MLB but they haven’t figured it all out as of yet.
Julio Urias pitched seven stellar innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory in front of 51, 334.
The Padres have lost nine straight games started by Urías, dating to his final two starts against them in 2021 and including his victory in Game 1 of the 2022 National League Division Series.
“We’re just not winning games,” Jake Cronenworth said. “We’re not playing well right now. We’re not executing when we need to and just gotta be better.”
Just off the injured list, J.D. Martinez made his presence felt with a towering shot.
Since beating the Dodgers 5-2 on May 5th at Petco Park, the Padres have scored more than three runs once in seven games. That was in their lone victory in that time span.
Juan Soto put the Padres up 1-0 in the first inning with a two-out solo homer.
With two blooped singles and Martinez’s three-run homer over the wall in left-center field put the Dodgers up 3-1. Martinez’s homer came on an 0-2 slider that Musgrove left in the heart of the plate and he jumped all over it.
Kim pulled a 1-1 changeup from Urías to the bleachers beyond left field to trim the lead to 3-2.
Freddie Freeman’s double off the wall in center field and a single grounded through the right side to start to the bottom of the third pushed the Dodgers’ lead to 4-2.
“They’re playing good right now, and we’re not,” Cronenworth said. We’re both good teams, but they’re getting the big hits when they need to and doing what they need to do.”
Musgrove took blame for his part Saturday after allowing four runs in 5⅔ innings, but the Padres failed to push even three runs for the 17th time in 40 games this season.
“I’m tired of hearing that (expletive), to be honest with you,” pitcher Joe Musgrove said. “It’s baseball. These guys are a good team. We’re not playing sloppy, bad baseball. We’re losing by a run or two. We’re in games. But I think we as a group in here we’ve got to stop talking about these guys like they’re some unbeatable force. We beat these guys in the playoffs. We’ve beat them in big situations. We’re just not playing very well right now. So we’ve got to play better baseball.”
The Padres got home runs from Soto and Ha-Seong Kim to stay close Saturday but otherwise fizzled out when it counted.
With two outs in the ninth inning, Xander Bogaerts beat out a slow roller to third. He was initially called out, but the call was overturned on a replay review. Nelson Cruz followed with a single to center, giving the Padres their second runner in scoring position.
Left-hander Caleb Ferguson replaced Brusdar Graterol and ended the game on four pitches to Cronenworth.
Urías retired the Padres in order in the seventh inning. The 17 pitches he took to do so were three more than he had thrown in any of the previous frames.
The left-hander improved to 7-0 with a 1.83 ERA during this nine-game run against the Padres.
“We just have to play better,” Soto said. “We just have to go out there and keep playing, keep grinding.”
Padres: LHP Ryan Weathers (1-1, 2.50 ERA) starts the series finale in a switch with RHP Michael Wacha, who goes Monday against Kansas City.
Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (0-1, 1.93) makes his fourth start of the year in pursuit of his first victory.