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Wood rolls to 9-0 as Dodgers thump Padres

July 1, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- Some early fireworks erupted at Petco Park on Friday night. But the Dodgers -- on the strength of seven RBIs from Austin Barnes and another Alex Wood gem -- made certain there was no late drama in a 10-4 series-opening victory over the Padres.Managers Dave Roberts of

SAN DIEGO -- Some early fireworks erupted at Petco Park on Friday night. But the Dodgers -- on the strength of seven RBIs from Austin Barnes and another Alex Wood gem -- made certain there was no late drama in a 10-4 series-opening victory over the Padres.
Managers Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Andy Green of the Padres were ejected when a meeting with umpires concluded with Roberts going after Green, triggering both benches to empty. The skirmish was the result of an earlier altercation, when Wood accused Padres left fielder Jose Pirela of signaling pitch location to Manuel Margot from second base. Wood threatened "to drill" Pirela, home-plate umpire Greg Gibson later said, resulting in warnings to both dugouts and leading to the clash between Roberts and Green when Gibson explained the warning to the managers between innings.
"They chose to handle it with warnings, and when they brought us together to talk about it, I made sure that they understood I took issue with the fact that they were simply letting him off with a warning," Green said. "He was threatening to hit my guy for something he wasn't even in fact doing."
Skippers spar over signs, and benches clear

All of that overshadowed remarkable performances by Barnes (who slugged a grand slam and three-run homer) and Wood, the All-Star candidate who became the first Dodgers pitcher to begin a season 9-0 since Rick Rhoden in 1976. The franchise record is 10, done four times, the last by reliever Ed Roebuck in 1962.
After the ejections, Wood struck out the next six Padres he faced, finishing six innings having allowed one run on two hits with eight strikeouts and three walks while lowering his ERA to 1.83. He is 8 1/3 innings short of qualifying for the league lead.
Wood later admitted that he overreacted to Pirela and said his emotions sapped his energy.
"You're already in competitive mode, fighting mode, and something happens and you start seeing red," said Wood. "I barely even remember what happened tonight. I came out [of the game] and thought I struck out four guys. It was all a blur. It happens in the first inning and I was pretty tired the rest of the game. It was a little battle to get through."
John Forsythe had four hits and a walk, Justin Turner had three hits -- including a two-run homer -- and a walk, and the Dodgers finished with 16 knocks on the night, one shy of their season high. The Padres mustered six, two of which came courtesy of Hunter Renfroe.

Two-out rally: Richard, who allowed seven runs on nine hits over 4 1/3, actually retired the first two hitters he faced in the top of the first inning. But, as was the case in his early May start against the Dodgers, he quickly ran into command problems. Turner singled, and Cody Bellinger and Forsythe walked, setting the stage for Barnes' first career grand slam.

Wooden resolve: The managerial clash didn't faze Wood, who responded with six consecutive strikeouts. He fanned the side in the second and third innings, allowing the Dodgers to build an early six-run lead, while the Padres' bats remained quiet.

Moments before the two managers were called to meet behind the plate, Yasiel Puig ended the bottom of the first inning by covering some serious ground to make a remarkable diving catch on a Renfroe popup. He stayed on the grass for a moment, and then Puig, being Puig, removed the ball from his glove and planted a kiss on it, before trotting toward the on-deck circle to lead off the next inning.
Puig kisses ball after grab

Make no mistake, the Dodgers and Padres are teams with very different outlooks in 2017. The Dodgers are in first place and on track for a fifth straight National League West title. The Padres, meanwhile, fell 14 games below .500 and are looking toward the future.
"They beat us to death on the baseball field tonight," Green said. "They've beaten us repetitively on the baseball field. ... We've got a long way to go, and right now, it's about winning series against them. Pretty soon, it's going to be about winning seasons against them. We're not going to yield. We're not going to just stop because they want to intimidate us on the mound screaming at our baserunner."
Green briefly addressed his team after the game. He was quick to note that it's an uphill climb. But he insisted that the season -- and particularly Friday -- was full of moments to build on.
"Somebody'd be lying if they said we're going to overcome a 20-game deficit and overtake the National League West this year," Green said. "No, we're trying to win a series right now. We're trying to teach guys how to play the game the right way every single day. And then we're coming. We're coming with the kind of team that's going to start winning seasons and not just series."

"Mac's a pretty big guy. I'll stay away from him." -- Wood, who found himself briefly squared off with hulking Padres bench coach (and former Dodgers hitting coach) Mark McGwire during the skirmish, only to be whisked away by Clayton Kershaw
"We're not going to take lightly to someone saying they're going to throw at one of our guys. To me, that's kind of fake tough to threaten to throw at anybody." -- Richard
"No, I won't be reaching out to Andy." -- Roberts
The Dodgers finished the month of June with a franchise-record 53 home runs, slugging at least one in 21 of the last 22 games.
Dodgers:Rich Hill lost his most recent start, but it was arguably his best of the season because he made it through seven innings. Hill utilized a modified stretch delivery for the first time and the result was better command and more consistent velocity. He faced the Padres on April 5 and allowed one run on two hits in five innings for a 3-1 win, and he'll look for more of the same when he takes the hill at 7:10 p.m. PT Saturday in San Diego.
Padres:Dillon Overton is set for his Padres debut in the series' middle game at 7:10 p.m. PT Saturday night. San Diego claimed the left-hander off waivers from Seattle on June 19, and he made one impressive start for Triple-A El Paso before receiving the big league call.
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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001.