SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers have pretty much owned the Padres over the years, but San Diego rookie starter Eric Lauer pretty much owns the Dodgers.He has only five Major League wins, but two are against the Dodgers, one in Mexico in May, the other on Tuesday night, when the
SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers have pretty much owned the Padres over the years, but San Diego rookie starter Eric Lauer pretty much owns the Dodgers.
He has only five Major League wins, but two are against the Dodgers, one in Mexico in May, the other on Tuesday night, when the Padres slugged their way to a 4-1 win.
"It's the Dodgers, man, nobody likes the Dodgers," Lauer said with a wry grin. "You want to get them more than any other team."
All-Star Final Vote candidate Player Page for Max Muncy's team-high 21st home run with two out in the ninth inning prevented Lauer from recording the first shutout by a Padres rookie in 12 years.
• VOTE MUNCY: 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote
That fourth hit allowed was the end for Lauer, who had enough runs to work with on a pair of fifth-inning home runs off Rich Hill, a three-run blast by No. 8 hitter Austin Hedges on a 1-2 fastball and a solo shot by William Myers. It was Myers' sixth home run in the last four games, one shy of Nate Colbert's Padres record for a four-game span.
Hill lasted a season-high seven innings with seven strikeouts, and he pitched well enough to win except for that fifth inning, which he opened by walking Jose Pirela, then allowing a single to Freddy Galvis before Hedges' home run.
"They had one good inning, a couple homers, and that was the big difference," said Hill. "Two pitches that they hit out. Complete frustration on my part right now, that's the way it is."
Hill's 4.64 ERA projects to his highest for a season since 2013. He's allowed 11 home runs in 54 1/3 innings, a rate of 1.82 per nine innings, the highest of his 14-year career. And he even had one pulled back by center fielder Cody Bellinger, who robbed Eric Hosmer in the fourth inning.
Hill (2-4) didn't argue the 0-2 pitch that could have struck out Hedges, but plate umpire Vic Carrapazza called it a ball.
"It could have went either way," Hill said. "At first glance, it looked like a strike. I don't second-guess the umpires too much. They have a tough job back there. Just one of those pitches you would have liked it to go your way. I'm tired of losing. I hate losing. When you have good stuff and things don't go your way, that's the game."
Manager Dave Roberts said Hill will start on Sunday, the last game before the All-Star break, with Alex Wood going to the bullpen for the weekend.
Lauer struck out eight. Included were three times each for Matt Kemp and John Forsythe. Kemp fanned a fourth time to end the game against Kirby Yates.
"The fastball velo was up a couple ticks. He was beating us with the fastball and striking the breaking ball when he needed to," said Roberts. "Obviously, he's had our number.
"And I thought we hit some balls well tonight. [Center fielder Manuel] Margot had a defensive highlight game. Muncy put a good swing late, but we really didn't threaten all night."
Kiké Hernandez scorched three balls for outs and Chris Taylor had one. The best offensive chance the Dodgers had was in the seventh. Margot robbed Justin Turner leading off with a diving catch of his line drive. Muncy single, Kemp struck out, Bellinger beat the shift with a double into the spot vacated by the third baseman that sent Muncy crashing into third. But Forsythe struck out to end the inning.
"He has a really weird heater," said Bellinger. "I think it's a slow delivery and the ball just kind of jumps. He was hitting spots, too, not a lot of balls over the plate."
The 23-year-old Lauer was a first-round pick (No. 25 overall) in the 2016 Draft out of Kent State. The Dodgers took high school shortstop Gavin Lux No. 20 that year, and he's batting .317 with an .897 OPS at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Their first-round pick this year, J.T. Ginn, did not sign.
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Bellinger said he had to ask Hernandez if the ball he caught off the bat of Hosmer would have been a home run. Hernandez said it would have, and replays backed that up.
"That was the first one I've ever robbed," said Bellinger, primarily a first baseman. "Pretty cool."
• Bellinger shows off CF skills with HR robbery
Kenta Maeda returns from the paternity list to start Wednesday night's 7:10 p.m. PT game against the Padres and Joey Lucchesi. Maeda struck out nine Angels in 5 2/3 innings, and the only run he allowed was on a balk, getting the best of countryman Shohei Ohtani and doing it on little sleep after the birth of his son on Friday.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.