Melvin's walk-off homer drops Dodgers

May 21st, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- Melvin Upton Jr.'s second walk-off home run of the season capped a wild Friday night, as the Padres and Dodgers staged a two-months-early version of the Home Run Derby at Petco Park.

Upton launched a Kenley Jansen cutter to the right-center-field seats, giving the Padres a thrilling come-from-behind victory, 7-6 -- one inning after Justin Turner had put the Dodgers on top with a two-run homer of his own. Upton became the first Padres hitter to hit multiple walk-off home runs in the same season since Scott Hairston did so in 2007.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

"I've faced him a few times; I don't think I've really had that much success against him," said Upton who was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against Jansen before Friday night. "He's a good closer, man, he's one of the best in the game. I just got a pitch I could handle."

The Dodgers took a two-run lead in the fifth inning on Yasiel Puig's two-run opposite-field dinger, but it didn't last long. Derek Norris' solo shot in the bottom of the frame brought the Padres within one, before Christian Bethancourt put San Diego on top an inning later with a two-run, pinch-hit shot.

"We were feeling like we were on our way to a W," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said.

A clinic for starting pitching, it was not. Padres left-hander Christian Friedrich was chased after allowing three runs on six hits in 3 1/3 -- and he could soon be headed back to Triple-A, with Andrew Cashner's return imminent. Dodgers southpaw Scott Kazmir lasted a bit longer (5 2/3, to be exact), but he didn't fare much better. He walked a career-high seven batters, while allowing five runs -- including two homers.

"We made Scott Kazmir work," said Padres manager Andy Green. "We didn't have a ton of hits, but the hits did damage. Kenley Jansen doesn't give it up too often, so that's a heck of a swing."


In a pinch: Turns out, there was a pretty good reason the Padres wanted Bethancourt's bat in the lineup. Green toyed with the idea of giving Bethancourt his outfield debut, going so far as to pencil his name in the original lineup as the right fielder. But even though he was a late scratch, Bethancourt made his presence felt with a pinch-hit two-run bomb off the left-field scoreboard.

"I try to stay ready for any possibility, any chance," Bethancourt said. "I was ready to play right field, and then I wasn't playing. any more. I was like, 'OK, maybe be ready for a pinch-hit or something.' I was ready. … I was extra ready. I had to take it out in that [pinch-hit] at-bat."

Said Green: "It should've been one of the biggest compliments in the world that I'm trying to find a place for him to get on the field. He should take it that way." More >

Streaking Seager: One out after a double by Kiké Hernandez leading off the third inning, rookie Corey Seager doubled to score Hernandez, extending his hitting streak 11 games and matching his career high.

A first for Friedrich: With two outs and the sacks full in the bottom of the second, Friedrich -- a career .086 hitter entering play Friday -- laced a single up the middle. In doing so, he recorded his first two career RBIs.

Puig and bat flip return: Slumping Yasiel Puig gave the Dodgers a brief lead with a two-run homer in the fifth inning and also singled and scored another run in the fourth. Coming into the game, Puig was hitting .213 in May with only three extra-base hits. On the homer, his bat landed by the warning track in front of the Padres dugout.

"You saw the results from all the work I've been doing," said Puig. "There is a difference in my at-bats. I'm hitting strikes and not swinging at bad pitches. Today I was swinging at pitches in the zone and that's why I was able to hit a home run."


"I obviously started the year hitting him in the eight-hole, so I'm not very smart." -- Green on UptonMore >


Brett Wallace's four-walk game was the first by a Padre since Cory Spangenberg did so on May 8, 2015. Wallace was removed for a defensive replacement in the seventh, which kept Brian Giles' franchise record of five free passes -- set in 2006 -- intact.


With one out and one on in the second inning, Kazmir grazed Alexei Ramirez on the left leg with a pitch. Home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez didn't notice, but after a challenge from Green, the play was overturned and Ramirez trotted to first base.


Dodgers:Alex Wood will be the starting pitcher for the Dodgers in the 7:10 p.m. PT start. He has a 2.59 ERA with 30 strikeouts and four walks in his last four starts and he's 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in four career starts against San Diego.

Padres: After a brilliant first three big league starts, Cesar Vargas has come down to earth. He'll get the ball against Los Angeles on Saturday night at 7:10 PT. Vargas held the Dodgers scoreless over 5 1/3 on April 29, but he's allowed a total of eight runs in nine innings over his past two outings.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.