SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers escaped Petco Park Wednesday night with a 6-4 win over the Padres in 10 innings, and slugger Max Muncy apparently still in one piece. That’s a win-win.
After unlucky closer Kenley Jansen blew the save in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Dodgers beat San Diego closer Kirby Yates on a pair of unearned, two-out runs in the 10th. Casey Sadler, who has been sent to the Minor Leagues 10 times this year, converted his first MLB save opportunity and Jansen got the win.
Enrique Hernández walked with two out in the 10th, stole second base and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Luis Urias, who had just made a spectacular pick of Russell Martin’s one-hopper, spun, then overthrew first. Pinch-hitter Will Smith reached on an infield single and A.J. Pollock singled home Martin.
It was only Hernandez’s third stolen base of the season and he said he picked his spot after Padres catcher Francisco Mejia was injured running the bases before eventually scoring the tying run in the bottom of the ninth on Jansen’s wild pitch.
“Mejia pinch-hit and [bloop] doubled and I was playing second base, and he tweaked his oblique on the slide and we made sure we kept an eye on him when they went back on defense. They took [catcher Austin] Hedges out of the game, so I knew [Mejia] had to catch, there’s no Plan C,” said Hernandez.
“Warming up, [Mejia] was lobbying it to the pitcher, then he lobbed it to second base and I was like, 'If he can’t throw, I’m going to go.' Found a way to get to first. Told [first-base coach George Lombard], 'If he gives me a high leg kick, I’m going to go.' Sure enough, he got his leg up and I took off.”
Hernandez was ruled safe at second base. The Padres didn’t challenge the call. Maybe they should have.
“You can say I came off the base, but they didn’t challenge, so I didn’t,” Hernandez said. “He was blocking the base. Got my right hand in, but my body kept going and my left hand came over the base. It was on his leg, I might have been on, might have not. But they didn’t challenge.”
The Dodgers cut their magic number for winning the National League West title to nine, but there were anxious innings while waiting for X-ray results on Muncy, who left the game in the fifth inning after being hit by a 94.1 mph Matt Strahm fastball on the right wrist. Muncy sustained a contusion.
The Dodgers wasted five effective innings and a two-run single from starting pitcher Kenta Maeda. They asked five relievers to shut down the Padres over the final four innings, but Pedro Baez allowed a two-out home run to Eric Hosmer in the eighth inning, and Jansen wild-pitched home the tying run with one out in the ninth for his seventh blown save of the season (matching a career high) and third this month.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts defended Jansen, as the run he allowed reached base on a bloop double that tipped off the glove of left fielder Chris Taylor as he slid after a long run.
“He’s throwing the ball well, he really is,” Roberts said. “I still think the ball’s coming out really well.”
Sadler got the ball with a lead and struck out two in a scoreless 10th.
“This was a lot of fun,” said Sadler. “In a word, indescribable. Emotional. I thought Kenley would slam the door. But in the ‘pen, you always have to be ready. This is the first time I’ve ever pitched back-to-back-to-back days. You want to be in those situations where it’s game-changing. When the phone call came, I got up and did what I wanted to do. What makes a championship team is that you pick up the next guy.”