The Dodgers bused to San Diego late Thursday night for the first of what third baseman Justin Turner called “19 World Series games” against the Padres, the rivalry with their Southern California neighbors going from regional feud to a full-blown clash between two of the best teams in baseball.
The Dodgers will hit Petco Park for a stretch in which they’ll play the Padres seven times in 10 days with a full head of steam, having completed a three-game sweep of the woeful Colorado Rockies with a 7-5 come-from-behind victory before a reduced-capacity crowd of 15,129 in Chavez Ravine Thursday night.
Max Muncy keyed a four-run seventh inning with a clutch three-run homer, and starter-turned-reliever David Price survived a harrowing ninth, as the Dodgers extended their win streak to six games and their major league-best record to 11-2.
Muncy followed seventh-inning walks to Matt Beaty and Turner by blasting a 2-and-0 changeup from reliever Yency Almonte into the right-center field fence for at two-out homer, turning a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 Dodgers lead.
The Dodgers went on to load the bases against reliever Tyler Kinley on singles by Will Smith and AJ Pollock and Edwin Rios’ walk. Carlos Estevez replaced Kinley and threw a wild pitch that allowed Smith to score for a 7-5 lead.
Jimmy Nelson retired the side in order in the seventh, and Dennis Santana threw a one-two-three ninth.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts then handed the ball to Price, who was handed his first-ever save opportunity in 325 career regular-season games.
Price then broke Raimel Tapia’s bat, inducing a weak game-ending groundout to second.
Colorado took an early 2-0 lead on solo homers by Ryan McMahon in the first and Hampson in the third off Dodgers left-hander Julio Urías.
Turner wiped out that deficit in the bottom of the third, following Urías’ bloop single and Chris Taylor’s walk by pounding a first-pitch curve from Austin Gomber over the center-field wall for a three-run homer and a 3-2 lead.
Turner also singled in the first and doubled in the fifth, giving him seven multi-hit efforts in 13 games. A notoriously slow starter, Turner is batting .432 (19 for 44) with four homers, six doubles and 14 RBIs.
But Urías couldn’t hold the lead. McMahon doubled with one out in the sixth and scored on C.J. Cron’s RBI single for a 3-3 tie. Josh Fuentes singled to put two on, and after Elias Díaz struck out, Daza flared an RBI single to right for a 4-3 Rockies lead.
Zach McKinstry bobbled the ball in right and threw to Taylor at second. Daza slipped and fell between first and second and was caught in a rundown. When Fuentes, the trail runner, broke for home, Taylor sailed a throw over the catcher’s head, Fuentes scoring on the error for a 5-3 lead.
Asked to gauge the chances of Cody Bellinger (left-calf contusion) playing against the Padres this weekend, Roberts said, “I’m not going to say zero, but, uh, it’s close to that number.” … Corey Seager and Mookie Betts did not start, Roberts giving them “planned days off,” but Seager entered at shortstop in the eighth and Betts played right field in the ninth. … Gavin Lux was scratched because of right-wrist soreness but entered as a pinch-runner in the seventh. … Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who suffered a partially dislocated left shoulder and partially torn labrum on an April 5 swing, is expected to be activated for Friday night’s game. … Roberts, Price and Betts will donate their full-game salaries from Thursday’s Jackie Robinson Day — a combined $275,000 for the two players — to the Players Alliance, a non-profit organization founded by active and former players seeking to improve representation of Black Americans in the sport. … The Dodgers are 28-8 against the Rockies over the last three years.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.