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Renfroe steals show as SD plays spoiler vs. LA

September 29, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- The Nationals left the door wide open for the Dodgers to gain some ground Wednesday night in the race for home-field advantage in their upcoming National League Division Series. A pair of Padres rookies helped slam it shut.Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot had two hits and two

SAN DIEGO -- The Nationals left the door wide open for the Dodgers to gain some ground Wednesday night in the race for home-field advantage in their upcoming National League Division Series. A pair of Padres rookies helped slam it shut.
Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot had two hits and two runs apiece, as the Padres played spoiler to their division rivals with a 6-5 victory. Dodgers starter José De León was chased after just 2 1/3 frames, in which he allowed five runs. The Padres tagged him for three in the first, before a prodigious two-run blast by Renfroe in the third -- the first home run ever to reach the roof of Petco Park's Western Metal Supply Co. building.
"This team over there, they play hard, they play for nine innings, and we got behind the eight ball," Roberts said.
Ultimately, Wil Myers' fourth-inning RBI groundout proved to be the difference, after Chase Utley, Adrián González and Joc Pederson had all gone deep off Padres starter Luis Perdomo. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed five runs over five innings, in the final start of a captivating rookie campaign.

"I'm incredibly grateful," said Perdomo, who started the season as a Rule 5 pick best suited for Double-A, only to finish as one of the team's most reliable starters. "It was an excellent season. In the second half, I got that chance, and I was able to take advantage of it."

The Dodgers' defeat -- coupled with Washington's rain-shortened 3-0 loss to Arizona -- means the Nationals lead the home-field race by two games with four to play -- although Los Angeles owns the tiebreaker.
"I saw that and I guess the flash-flood warnings," Roberts said of Washington's loss. "We gotta win baseball games ourselves."
Balance of power: Pederson's fourth-inning home run not only tied the game at 5, but gave the 24-year old his 25th homer of the season. Los Angeles now has four players with 25 or more homers, including Justin Turner (27), Yasmani Grandal (27), Corey Seager (26) and Pederson.
"Up and down the lineup, one through eight, we've got some potential to slug," Roberts said. "Joc's really put together a nice season. For him to rebound from his second-half play [in 2015], the defense like he has and to be as productive as he has this season it's good to see it … he's going to be a force."

Renfroe goes to the roof: Renfroe has wasted no time showing off his absurd power at the Major League level. He's now hit four homers in seven games, but none as impressive as his blast onto the roof of the Western Metal Supply Co. Ironically, Renfroe tied Grandal -- who watched from behind the plate -- for the most home runs by a Padre in his first seven games.
"You really don't feel anything," Renfroe said when asked what Wednesday's homer felt like. "It's kind of like 'spat' and then it goes. It just disappears real quick, and you know it's a home run." More >
Added De Leon: "The guy's really talented, you gotta tip your hat to him. Pitch was in where we wanted it, he just got the head out and it was a monster shot. So nothing you can do about that."

Seager's slips at short: Dodgers' NL Rookie of the Year candidate Seager was only charged with one error Wednesday night, but hurt Los Angeles on two key occasions in the field. His throwing error to start the bottom of the first allowed Margot to safely reach base and led to a pair of unearned runs, and a bobbled exchange on a routine grounder helped Margot score in the bottom of the fourth.
"We got a lead, gave it back and didn't play as clean a baseball [game] as we're accustomed to playing," Roberts said.

Streaking Solarte:Yangervis Solarte helped ignite the Padres' three-run rally in the first with a one-out single, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. It's the longest such stretch by a San Diego hitter this year, and the longest of his career.

The 2016 Dodgers are the fourth team in franchise history with four players who have 25+ homers, joining the 1997, 1977 and 1955 clubs.
Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles said his left hamstring cramped as he swung on his ninth-inning fly out, but said he felt fine after the game.
Dodgers: Los Angeles' 20-year-old rookie Julio Urías takes the mound Thursday at 6:10 p.m. PT as a starter for the first time since Sept. 13. The Dodgers wanted to move him to the bullpen to manage his workload, but feel comfortable with the lefty making this start in what could be an audition for the fourth spot in the postseason rotation.
Padres: Left-hander Christian Friedrich will make his final start of the season, as the Padres host the Dodgers in their 2016 home finale. First pitch is slated for 6:10 p.m. PT. San Diego had considered shutting Friedrich down earlier this year, even going so far as to move him to the 'pen. But he's rewarded their confidence with a strong finish, including a 2.84 ERA in his last three starts.
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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

[Carlos Collazo]( is a reporter for based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.