SAN DIEGO – Joc Pederson’s second home run of the game sailed an estimated 435 feet through two palm trees just beyond the center field fence at Petco Park, and the Los Angeles Dodgers held off the San Diego Padres 7-6 Wednesday night to take two of three in an early series between NL West rivals.
Pederson drove in five runs on the two homers for the seven-time defending division champion Dodgers, who won seven of nine on their longest trip of the season, through Houston, Arizona and San Diego.
Kenley Jansen made it interesting in the ninth inning by allowing one run before the game ended on a double play. With runners at the corners, Manny Machado lined out to left fielder Chris Taylor, who threw out Trent Grisham trying to score the tying run. The Padres challenged but the play stood after review. Jansen earned his fourth save in as many chances.
“Fortunately my momentum was already taking me in and I just tried to get rid of it as quick as I could and give Will (Smith) an easy one hop,” Taylor said.
“That was an exciting series," he added. "Just to get a series win against that team, it was back and forth and hard-fought. They've got a lot of talented players, young players. I think they're trying to make a statement. It was a big win, to be able to do it in that fashion tonight.”
Said Padres rookie manager Jayce Tingler: "Manny squared the ball up and they made a heck of a play. Perfect throw and tag.”
Pederson hit a two-run homer off Garrett Richards (0-1) in the second and then welcomed rookie Luis Patiño to the majors with his monster three-run drive in the sixth for a 7-2 lead. Pederson has three homers. His first was a leadoff shot in a 5-4 loss in the series opener Monday night.
The hard-throwing Patiño, San Diego’s No. 2 prospect, made his big league debut in the sixth. He retired NL MVP Cody Bellinger on a fly to center before getting into trouble. Corey Seager and Taylor singled before Pederson connected on a 97 mph fastball on a 1-2 count.