Saturday, June 3, 2023

Will Smith, Max Munsey push Dodgers back to Padres, 8-3

LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) — Will Smith scored three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers continued to stun the rest of the NL West with their seventh consecutive win, 8-3 night on Saturday over the second-placed San Diego Padres.

Max Muncie hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning for the Dodgers, extending their division lead to a season-high 14 1/2 games with their 16th win in their last 18 meetings with San Diego.

The Dodgers have six consecutive series wins against the Padres, whose big trade deadline stretches ahead has yet to surpass the everyday excellence of its powerhouse rivals: LA beat San Diego 16-4 in back-to-back big victories at the Chavez Ravine.

The Dodgers improved the majors’ best record to 74-33 with their 14th win in 17 games since hosting the All-Star Game last month.

Brandon Drury doubled the RBI during the fourth innings of three runs for the Padres, who have lost three straight. San Diego is 1-3 since the addition of Juan Soto, Drury and Josh Bell to the lineup.

Mike Clevinger (3-4) made seven hits and five runs while pitching in the fifth inning for San Diego. The Padres took a 3–2 lead in the fifth, but Muncie chased down Clevinger, driving his 11th homer into the visitors’ bullpen.

Andrew Heaney lowered his ERA to 0.66 in his sixth start of the season for the Dodgers, pitching 4 2/3 innings of a four-hit ball, his third after returning from three injury-ridden months.

Chris Martin (3–0) defeated Manny Machado to end the Padres’ only rally, earning his second win in four games with his new club.

Smith took the second place lead with his 16th homer, which extended his hitting streak to nine games. The slugging catcher, who got three hits in Friday’s series opener, then drove into Mookie Bets with a two-out single in the third.

Heaney retired nine straight batsmen after Jurikson Profer led the game with a double, but Bell’s easy one-out on the grounder driven by second baseman Gavin Lux’s error rally San Diego into fourth with three unearned runs. went ahead. Drury, Jake Cronenworth and Will Myers consistently followed RBI.

After Munsey finished fifth for the latest move in his previously disappointing season, Freddie Freeman and Smith scored with sacrificial flies in seventh. Bates began the rally with a single before Machado made a critical error – much to the delight of Dodgers fans who constantly booed his former third baseman.

Cody Bellinger added an RBI double from the wall in the eighth.

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Dodger Stadium was packed for the second straight night, with 52,124 fans watching rivals from Southern California. The night before, Vin Scully’s Dodgers celebration was one of the hottest tickets in recent L.A. history.

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Padres: RHP Robert Suarez returned from a 60-day injured list and got two hits and a run in the eighth. He was out since June 5 after undergoing knee surgery.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (low back pain) had an epidural injection, and an MRI exam found nothing new, manager Dave Roberts said. The team hasn’t decided when Kershaw will pick up baseball again, but Roberts thinks “it will be of short duration rather than long term.” … Dodgers reliever Blake Trainen (shoulder) and Bruiser Gretroll (shoulder) both threw an innings in a mock game, and both turned out to be “really good,” Roberts said. There are still about 10 days left for Gretroll to return, and Trainen is not expected to return until September.

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Dodgers All-Star Tyler Anderson (12-1, 2.89 ERA) has remained unbeaten since June in the series finale. Yu Darvish (10-4, 3.30) takes the mound against his old team for San Diego after going 6-1 in his last 10 starts.

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More Associated Press MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_Sports

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