SAN DIEGO -- The National League West-champion Dodgers resumed play Tuesday night and ran into Padres rookie Hunter Renfroe, who homered twice and drove in all the runs in a 7-1 loss that diminished the Dodgers' chances of securing the home-field advantage over the Nationals in the NL Division Series."Renfroe]
SAN DIEGO -- The National League West-champion Dodgers resumed play Tuesday night and ran into Padres rookie Hunter Renfroe, who homered twice and drove in all the runs in a 7-1 loss that diminished the Dodgers' chances of securing the home-field advantage over the Nationals in the NL Division Series.
"[Renfroe] was going against matchups that didn't really favor him today," said Padres manager Andy Green, who talked about how Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda would be a challenge for Renfroe before the game. "He hit two home runs and drove in seven, so it was a pretty spectacular day."
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts before the game said he wanted his club to remain sharp this week, not get complacent or lose the edge after clinching on Sunday. But the momentum swung to the Padres in the first inning on Renfroe's three-run homer.
"I've known Hunter from when I was over here," said Roberts, who was San Diego's bench coach before joining the Dodgers this year. "He's got big power, a toolsy player, and we left balls over the plate elevated. Do that to a guy with power and it's going to happen, and he had a big night."
Maeda went four innings, allowing the three runs on Renfroe's first homer, and fell to 16-10.
"After the first inning, Kenta was good. He was missing with the breaking ball a little bit, left a breaking ball up to Renfroe, and he hit a homer. After that, he had strikeouts and soft contact. I told him it was a positive outing."
Maeda was removed after four innings, having reached a 60-pitch limit, and will start on Sunday in San Francisco with no pitch limitations in a final tuneup for Game 3 of the NL Division Series.
Chase Utley homered and doubled off Padres starter Paul Clemens (4-5), who went five innings to pick up the win. Washington beat Arizona on Tuesday night, increasing their lead over the Dodgers to two games with five to play. The Dodgers hold the tiebreaker.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hunter's high homer: Padres fans have heard more about Renfroe's power than they've seen so far, but they're likely impressed after seeing his display on Tuesday. San Diego's No. 3 prospect got the Friars on the board with a three-run homer in the first that traveled a Statcast-estimated 380 feet with a steep 41-degree launch angle. Among Padres, only Ryan Schimpf and Alex Dickerson have also hit homers with launch angles that high this season.
"He can hit anything," said Green. "He just has to get them over the plate, and when he does that, he does as much damage as anybody we have." More >
Take me along: Dodgers lefty Alex Wood, making a late run for an October roster spot as a reliever after missing most of the season with elbow surgery, pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning with two strikeouts in relief of Maeda.
"After having surgery and coming back with two clean innings, the velocity is good and the offspeed is good, he's getting righties and lefties out," said Roberts. "Alex worked really hard to come back. To be in the mix says a lot about Alex." More >
Lost the battle: The Dodgers had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth against reliever José Torres, but Yasmani Grandal flied out to right field and Josh Reddick popped up to end a 10-pitch at-bat. The Dodgers went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10 runners.
Emotional start for Clemens: Clemens was pulled after just five innings and 64 pitches, despite holding the Dodgers to one run on three hits. Green was happy with Clemens' outing, but wanted to be safe with the young pitcher who is expected to start the final game of the season. For his part, Clemens said this was the most difficult outing of the year.
"I've had [José Fernández] on my mind a lot the last couple days," Clemens said. "You know, my wife just kept putting him in my face, putting him in my face until I couldn't take it any more. I cried yesterday, but it's just tough. So this was probably the toughest start by far, just thinking about him."
"Considering the way we played at home, I put a lot on it. It's not the end all and be all, but we're going to try to catch the Nationals. For us, it's about playing good baseball and remaining sharp and not to get complacent and lose that edge." -- Roberts, on trying to beat the Nationals for the home-field advantage in the NL Division Series
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
After his eighth-inning grand slam, Renfroe became one of 10 Padres batters to have seven or more RBIs in one game, and he is the only rookie to do it. He was one RBI shy of tying the franchise record held by Ken Caminiti (1995) and Nate Colbert (1972). The most recent seven-RBI game from a San Diego hitter was from Brian Giles, in 2006.
Dodgers:José De León gets the start in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. PT matchup. De Leon beat the Padres on Sept. 4 in Los Angeles in his Major League debut, allowing four runs (three earned) in six innings with nine strikeouts. His most recent start was in Arizona on Sept. 18, when he allowed six runs (four earned) in 3 2/3 innings.
Padres: San Diego Rule 5 pick Luis Perdomo makes his final start of his rookie season on Tuesday. The 23-year-old has become one of the Padres' most consistent starters after being stashed in the bullpen at the start of the year. His 61.3 percent ground-ball rate is the highest in baseball among starters with at least 50 innings pitched.
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Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.