LOS ANGELES -- Jhoulys Chacin's first career steal did little to ignite his dugout, but the way he performed on the mound against the best team in baseball certainly did.Before the Dodgers rallied for five runs off the Padres' bullpen in 6-3 victory Saturday night, Chacin grinded through five innings
LOS ANGELES -- Jhoulys Chacin's first career steal did little to ignite his dugout, but the way he performed on the mound against the best team in baseball certainly did.
Before the Dodgers rallied for five runs off the Padres' bullpen in 6-3 victory Saturday night, Chacin grinded through five innings of one-run ball against the team with the best record in baseball. The right-hander has a 1.17 ERA in his past three starts against Los Angeles.
"I love the fight in him," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He doesn't quit, even when he's running through those situations where he's walking guys. He knows his stuff's good enough to go through good lineups.
"You look at his work and what he's done his last three times out against the Dodgers, he's probably pitched them as well as any pitcher."
Throughout the night, Chacin escaped trouble on the Dodger Stadium mound, something he was unable to do Opening Day, when he allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Chacin put himself in a rough position early, walking Chris Taylor to begin the first. Two batters later, Justin Turner's sacrifice fly put the Dodgers ahead, 1-0, but Chacin allowed no more runs despite flirting with danger throughout the remainder of his outing.
Taylor and Cody Bellinger singled in the third, but Chacin got Joc Pederson, who hit a grand slam off him on Opening Day, to ground out to second. Chacin repeated the feat in the fifth, this time after walking the bases loaded.
"I was battling the whole game," Chacin said. "They're a good hitting team. They hit the pitches they want to, so you have to attack them, try to hit the corners to get them out."
However, allowing four hits and four walks left Chacin's pitch count elevated. At 93 pitches, he exited after the fifth with a 3-1 lead he helped provide.
In a 1-1 game in the fourth, Chacin flicked a single the other way with two men in scoring position. Cory Spangenberg held at third while Yangervis Solarte came home.
Chacin's 10th hit tied him with Adam Wainwright and Max Scherzer for the second most among pitchers, trailing only Jacob deGrom's 13.
"I was lucky," Chacin said with a laugh. "I was trying to just not strike out."
Still at first after Manuel Margot popped up, Chacin spoke with first-base coach Johnny Washington, who told him to take off for second. The Dodgers didn't attempt a throw, and Chacin had his first career steal.
"It's nothing crazy, really," Green said. "You can kind of walk into second base in that situation."
Chacin retired the Dodgers in order in the fourth before battling his way through the fifth. He told Green he wanted to pitch one more inning, but after the three-walk frame, he understood his manager's decision to end his night.
Since the start of June, Chacin has a 2.82 ERA.
"He's one of my favorite guys I've ever played behind because of the way he attacks hitters," first baseman William Myers said. "Every time he takes the ball, I'm excited to play behind him. He's been great all year. It's just tough to let this one get away."
Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.