Padres Use Pitching, Defense, Bunts, & Shallow Fly Balls to Beat Dodgers

Friars walk off L.A. in extra innings

A big reason the Dodgers have been so much better than the Padres for the better part of a century is L.A. is more fundamentally sound than San Diego is. Simply put, the Dodgers don't beat themselves while the Friars have tended to self-sabotage.

On Saturday night, in front of 44,444 at Petco Park, that was definitely not the case.

The Padres played error-free baseball for a Major League record 16th straight game and got a walkoff sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to top the Dodgers 3-2, evening their series at one game a piece.

Yu Darvish got the start and looked like he wasn't going to last very long. The right-hander struggled through a 2nd inning where he threw more than 30 pitches, loaded the bases on a single and two walks to bring up former MVP Mookie Betts. On a 3-2 count Darvish whiffed Betts and suddenly looked like his All-Star self. Darvish went 6.0 shutout innings, striking out seven and only allowing one hit.

He left with a 2-0 lead but the bullpen couldn't hold it. Luis Garcia allow-back back-to-back singles to start the 8th inning before striking out Betts (who whiffed an uncharacteristic four times on the night). That's when manager Bob Melvin asked closer Taylor Rogers for a 5-out save. The lefty punched out Freddie Freeman but left a pitch up and Trea Turner smoked it off the left field wall for a 2-run double to tie it 2-2.

As games between the Dodgers and Padres often do, it ended up going to extra innings. That's when the San Diego defense shined through again.

Gavin Lux lofted a fly ball to Jurickson Profar close to the left field warning track. Chris Taylor tried to tag from 2nd base and advance but Profar threw a strike to Manny Machado at 3rd base to cut down Taylor by a foot and a half. In the bottom of the inning the Friars got to start with C.J. Abrams on 2nd. He's one of the fastest players in the game.

The Padres used that speed to bring him home without a hit.

Trent Grisham laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Abrams to 3rd and Austin Nola brought the speedster home with a medium-depth fly ball to left. With C.J.'s wheels it might as well have been a double to the gap. The rookie tagged and scored easily to give San Diego a walkoff win.

They can take the series from their long time tormentors on Sunday afternoon with Sean Manaea on the mound against Clayton Kershaw.

LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego's Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the mic, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind-the-scenes...the ups, downs, and everything in between. Tap here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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