ARLINGTON, Texas — Manny Machado tried to awaken a slumbering San Diego offense by screaming at his teammates after connecting for a homer against Clayton Kershaw.
While it almost worked, the Padres fell into a 2-0 deficit in their best-of-five National League Division Series when Eric Hosmer stranded the bases loaded with a game-ending groundout off Joe Kelly in a 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Machado’s solo shot in the sixth inning was followed immediately by another from Hosmer, closing the Padres to 4-3 in their first NLDS since 2006.
Fernando Tatís Jr. hit a long drive off reliever Brusdar Graterol that would have put the Padres up by a run in the seventh, but Cody Bellinger robbed the 21-year-old phenom with a leaping grab at the wall in center field.
Machado’s outburst, starting when he threw his bat at his own dugout after lifting a low pitch from Kershaw to left, was aimed at a San Diego offense that had been mostly silent for the first 14 innings of the neutral-site series at the home of the Texas Rangers.
The new retractable-roof stadium was where the Padres’ record run of grand slams in four straight games started with Tatis Jr.’s hotly debated homer on a 3-0 count with a seven-run lead in the eighth inning of a 14-4 win over the Rangers in August.
His near-homer aside, Tatis isn’t making nearly as much noise this time, with just a single in eight at-bats in a pair of games started by aces Walker Buehler and Kershaw. Machado was 0 for 6 before his liner into the seats in left field.
Four pitches later, Hosmer drove a fastball from Kershaw high into the Dodgers bullpen in right-center. Machado was out of the dugout before the ball landed.
Mitch Moreland and Trent Grisham drove in runs in the ninth inning off a Kenley Jansen who struggled with velocity, and Kelly walked Tatis and Machado. On the 49th pitch of the inning, Hosmer fouled off a 1-2 pitch, then grounded a 1-2 knuckle-curve at the knees to second baseman Kiké Hernández.
Zach Davies had the longest outing for a San Diego starter this postseason, but gave up four runs in five innings. The right-hander has allowed eight runs in seven innings in two playoff starts.
In a 5-1 loss in Game 1, San Diego became the first team to use at least nine pitchers in three straight games in the playoffs or regular season. Another bullpen-heavy game could be looming in Game 3 with both of the Padres’ top two starters sidelined by injuries.
Mike Clevinger was removed from the NLDS roster Wednesday after lasting just two pitches into the second inning of Game 1 while dealing with an elbow issue. The right-hander can’t return until the World Series if the Padres get that far.
Dinelson Lamet left his final start of the regular season Sept. 25 because of biceps tightness. The right-hander has been left off the active roster for both postseason series so far.
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports