Padres bounce back to even Mexico Series

Homers by Lopez, Hosmer paired with a strong bullpen performance notch win for SD

May 6th, 2018

MONTERREY, Mexico -- The Padres wasted no time putting Friday's Dodgers no-hitter in their rearview mirror. With their first two swings on Saturday, they held a two-run lead.

But the night's biggest hack came in the sixth, courtesy of newly promoted Padres catcher Raffy Lopez. With San Diego trailing by one, Lopez sent a booming two-run home run into the right-field bullpen. The Padres bullpen did the rest, icing a 7-4 victory with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball to even the Mexico Series at the Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey.

"That home run was awesome," said Lopez, who picked up his first two Padres hits on Saturday night. "Right off the bat, I had an idea it was going. The situation in the game, I just wanted to perform, not only for myself but for my teammates and for the Padres."

Lopez's dinger was the exclamation point on a bounceback performance for the offense. led off the game with a triple, and followed with a line-drive two-run shot.

"You come off a game like yesterday, you want to get on the board as quickly as possible," said Padres manager Andy Green. "You can't get on the board much quicker than that."

Still, the Padres trailed entering the bottom of the sixth, after further struggles from righty starter . led off the frame with a walk before right-hander Josh Fields attempted to come up and in with a fastball. Lopez demolished it. The ball landed in the glove of righty reliever , who was warming up.

"I went from pitching down one to pitching up one, just like that," Stammen said.

Two innings later, after 's leadoff walk, Lopez's single helped spark a two-run rally. He advanced to third on 's pinch-hit RBI single and scored on 's one-out single. Asuaje's hit snapped his personal 0-for-20 skid.

The offensive outburst made up for another rough outing from Mitchell. He allowed two runs in the second -- including a Matt Kemp solo homer -- and another in the third. Mitchell, among the Major League leaders in walks, has struggled with his control for the past month, and manager Andy Green wasn't particularly tolerant of those struggles on Saturday evening.

Green yanked Mitchell after just 2 1/3 innings and 55 pitches, only 28 of them for strikes. Mitchell's status in the rotation remains tenuous, but his bullpen bailed him out in a big way on Saturday night.

Robbie Erlin worked 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, escaping a fifth-inning jam in which he allowed a leadoff double. gave up a run in the sixth, but put out the fire of a bases-loaded situation by getting  to bounce to short.

Stammen pitched scoreless ball in the seventh and eighth, before Brad Hand struck out the side in the ninth.

"We treated today kind of like a Game 7, it felt like," Stammen said. "The starter came out early, and it's: All hands on deck, let's try to win this game after a tough loss last night."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Doubled up: Erlin entered a dicey situation in the top of the third with a run already home and Kemp on first base. He got to pop to shallow left, where made a running catch, then threw on the run to double Kemp off of first base.

Split-second decision: With men on the corners and one out in the fourth, Dodgers left fielder Verdugo made a brilliant sliding catch in foul territory on ' popup. He might have been better served to let the ball drop. Cordero, on third base at the time, raced home with the tying run.

SOUND SMART

Lopez's homer was the fifth of his career. The 30-year-old journeyman hit four with Toronto last season. Among his five home runs, Lopez has now gone deep in three different countries.

HE SAID IT

"He's so eager to do something great, because this means so much to him. He's probably over-amped, over-aggressive. If he just lets the game come to him tomorrow, he's going to have a ton of success." -- Green, on the Mexican-born Villanueva, who remains hitless in the Mexico Series

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY

The Dodgers took the lead in the top of the sixth when Yates plunked Chris Taylor in the left hand. The Padres challenged the ruling, arguing that the baseball hit the knob of the bat and not Taylor. It sure ricocheted as though it had struck wood. But replays were inconclusive, and the call stood.

UP NEXT

Padres No. 12 prospect faces the Dodgers in the Mexico Series finale with first pitch set for 1:10 p.m. PT on Sunday. Los Angeles counters with . Lauer will be making his third big league start, looking to rebound from a couple rough outings. Meanwhile, shortstop prospect Javy Guerra, called up Friday, is expected to make his first start for the Padres.