SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers arrived in San Diego in the NL West cellar, wondering when their talent-laden roster would get in gear. After beating the Padres, 13-4, on Wednesday night, it's clear the Dodgers are hitting on most, if not all, cylinders.Kenta Maeda (2-1) was keen and backed by
SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers arrived in San Diego in the NL West cellar, wondering when their talent-laden roster would get in gear. After beating the Padres, 13-4, on Wednesday night, it's clear the Dodgers are hitting on most, if not all, cylinders.
Kenta Maeda (2-1) was keen and backed by an explosive offense as the National League's defending champions ran their winning streak to a season-high four games.
Player Page for Max Muncyhit his first home run as a Dodger and had two RBIs, Chase Utley added two more RBIs and a once-struggling Corey Seager tied a career-high with four hits and three RBIs.
"It was a well-played baseball game,'' manager Dave Roberts said.
Maeda took advantage of the output as he put down the Padres. He was charged with four runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings after recording just eight outs in his previous start. He tied a season high with 10 strikeouts while walking two in heaving 106 pitches.
"Kenta really competed out there and he was really fun to watch,'' Roberts said. "I really thought he held his velocity well tonight and he was able to attack. He gave us the innings that we needed. He is trusting his fastball in the strike zone and when you can trust to throw it and execute it, with velocity, you are going to get swing and misses.''
While Maeda cruised on a pleasant San Diego evening, Luis Perdomo (1-2) pitched as if under a black cloud. He was torched for nine runs (seven earned) and 10 hits in three innings.
The Dodgers prevailing against the Padres was hardly a shocker. With the victory, the Dodgers now own the most wins against a divisional opponent since 2015, going 41-19 over that span.
But the sweep came with significance as the Dodgers got help from nearly every corner of the clubhouse. Time will tell if the Dodgers have turned the corner as well.
"We played a full game,'' said Seager, who went 7-for-16 in the series. "We pitched well, we hit well, we came up with hits with runners on base. That is how you get it going and it is a really good recipe for success.''
Roberts has been waiting for a collection of games like the last four. The one drawback is that closer Kenley Jansenstill seeks consistency, but other than that, Roberts likes what he sees.
"When you are scoring the runs we are and stressing the [other team's] pitchers and our pitchers are attacking and we are getting guys on base and running the bases well, it just brings energy,'' Roberts said. "That is when we play our best.''
The Dodgers' hitters have flipped a switch, and maybe Justin Turner and Utley supplied the charge. They stressed being selective at the plate in a Sunday pregame meeting with position players, and the Dodgers haven't lost since.
"We're not afraid to run a count and we are not afraid to take a walk,'' Roberts said. "We talked about using the big part of the field, and Corey did it tonight and Muncy, going the other way for a homer, did it too. When we are taking walks and using the whole field, we are pretty tough.''
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
When Matt Kemp produced a slow roller for an infield hit to third baseman Christian Villanueva in the first inning, Villanueva should have put the ball in his back pocket. Instead, he tried to erase Kemp and ended up short-hopping first baseman Eric Hosmer. The ball got past Hosmer, which allowed Yasmani Grandal and Cody Bellinger to score two unearned runs and it put the wheels in motion for a rout.
When these teams next meet, it will be on the other side of border. The Dodgers and Padres will square off May 4-6 in Monterrey, Mexico. It will be the Dodgers' fourth visit to the neighboring country, but their first time to play regular-season games. They made preseason trips in 1964, 1991 and 2003. The Dodgers aren't the only L.A. pro team heading south this year, as the Rams will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City on Nov. 19.
HE SAID IT
"For us to win a series is a great thing and to sweep a team and gain three games is big. Now, we got our work cut out. We got [Max] Scherzer and [Stephen] Strasburg, two of the best in the game -- we have to keep playing good baseball.'' -- Roberts, on sweeping the Padres and looking ahead to a three-game series with the Nationals
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
It was a heck of a catch, and then it wasn't. But it produced a dynamite throw. Left fielder Joc Pederson raced over to the wall in pursuit of Carlos Asuaje's foul ball in the seventh inning. The concrete barrier was waiting for him as well as some Dodgers fans leaning over and seeking a souvenir. Pederson leaped into the wall and made the catch, only for the ball to pop out of his glove when he came down and it struck his knee.
A ticked-off Pederson gathered the ball, and instead of giving it to the Dodgers booster seeking it, he fired it into the third deck of Petco Park. Roberts requested a replay, but it was ruled that there was no fan interference.
The Dodgers open a six-game homestand on Friday against the Washington Nationals after Thursday's off-day. Nationals ace Max Scherzer (3-1) will greet the Dodgers for the 7:10 p.m. PT first pitch. With scheduled starter Rich Hill (finger nail) going on the DL on Wednesday, Clayton Kershaw (1-2) will stay on his regular turn and face Scherzer.
Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.