Whew! And still 18 more to go.
Corey Seager hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer on Tim Hill’s first pitch of the 12th inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 11-6 Friday night in a tense, entertaining first matchup this season between NL West rivals who have visions of deep playoff runs.
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It took 4 hours, 57 minutes to decide this one, which ended early Saturday morning. The benches emptied after Dodgers reliever Dennis Santana hit Jorge Mateo with a pitch to put runners on the corners with one out in the 10th. Trent Grisham walked to load the bases, but Santana struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. to escape.
“I’m very hesitant to get ahead of things, but it was like a playoff game,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, a multisport high school star in northern San Diego County. “They played a lot of guys, we played a lot of guys — the intensity was there. Man, I can look up and down my lineup card and everyone contributed.”
The teams met for the first time since the Dodgers swept San Diego in their Division Series last year en route to winning the World Series. The Padres responded by beefing up their rotation, trading for Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove.
Darvish and Snell are scheduled to pitch in the final two games of the three-game series.
“Yeah, it felt like a rivalry tonight,” said Roberts, who downplayed that notion during spring training
Seager homered to center field, his second, with Mookie Betts on second base after making the last out of the 11th. The Dodgers added three more runs in the inning, including a sacrifice fly by reliever David Price (1-0) that was caught by Musgrove, who took over in left field after the Padres ran out of relievers.
Left fielder Jurickson Profar moved to second base as infielder Jake Cronenworth came in to pitch. He got the final two outs, including striking out Betts to end the inning.
“It’s always there, something I kind of have in my back pocket,” said Cronenworth, a college closer at Michigan. “I wanted maybe to throw a little harder, but they told me not to.”
Hill (0-2) allowed five runs, three earned, and four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Price, who got his first save since Game 7 of the 2008 AL Championship Series on Thursday night against Colorado, said it was “a fun rivalry to be part of.”
“Once you get to that first bench-clearing whatever happens, that’s when it kind of goes to the next level,” he added.
After the Dodgers went ahead 6-5 in the ninth when Justin Turner singled in Betts, the Padres tied it with two outs in the bottom half when Eric Hosmer singled home Manny Machado.
San Diego had tied the game at 5 on Profar’s opposite-field, two-run double to left in the eighth inning off Corey Knebel.
“I’m just spent emotionally, just proud of everybody,” Roberts said after the first of 19 scheduled meetings between the teams this year. “We responded, they answered back, they kept fighting, we kept fighting.”
Tatis returned from the 10-day injured list in a big way when he homered to center field off Walker Buehler for a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
But Tatis’ throwing error from shortstop contributed to the Dodgers scoring three runs in the sixth on two singles, a walk and a wild pitch. With runners on first and third and two outs, Tatis made a nice diving stop of Chris Taylor’s RBI infield single and his throw to second went past Cronenworth, who was late covering the bag. Max Muncy scored on the error and Taylor scored on Keone Kela’s wild pitch for a 4-2 lead.
Zach McKinstry hit an RBI double in the eighth for a 5-3 advantage.
Padres rookie Luis Campusano hit an RBI single off Buehler in the second and Dodgers rookie Luke Raley tied it with one out in the fifth when he hit his first homer, off Dan Altavilla. Raley made his big league debut a week earlier and got his first hit Wednesday night, a double against Colorado.
Buehler allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out four and walking one.
Padres rookie Ryan Weathers, the son of former big league pitcher David Weathers, made his first career start and held the Dodgers to one hit in 3 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out three and walking two.
Weathers made his major league debut with 1 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 1 of the NLDS when the Padres had to turn to their bullpen after Mike Clevinger left with an elbow injury.
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Before the game, Musgrove, who grew up in suburban El Cajon, was honored for throwing the first no-hitter in Padres history, at Texas on April 9.
“After 8,206 games, the Padres have a no-hitter, brought to us by a native son,” Padres owner Peter Seidler said during a ceremony at home plate that included Musgrove’s family and girlfriend.
Musgrove was presented with a framed No. 44 jersey signed by his teammates and a check for $8,206 for his favorite charity, the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Dodgers: CF Cody Bellinger has a hairline fracture in his left fibula. Roberts offered no timetable for his return. Bellinger was injured when he was spiked on a close play at first base at Oakland on April 5.
Padres: Tatis was activated from the 10-day injured list. He had been sidelined with a partially dislocated left shoulder sustained while striking out on a violent swing April 6. To make room, utility man Tucupita Marcano was optioned to the alternate training site.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.89 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday night. He is 21-7 with a 2.03 ERA in 40 career starts against the Padres, including 9-3 with a 1.83 ERA in 17 starts at Petco Park.
Padres: RHP Yu Darvish (1-0, 3.06) starts against one of his former teams.