SAN DIEGO – Whew! And still 18 more to go.
Corey Seager hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer on Tim Hill's first pitch of the 12th inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 11-6 Friday night in a tense, entertaining first matchup this season between NL West rivals who have visions of deep playoff runs.
It took 4 hours, 57 minutes to decide this one, which ended early Saturday morning. The benches emptied after Dodgers reliever Dennis Santana hit Jorge Mateo with a pitch to put runners on the corners with one out in the 10th. Trent Grisham walked to load the bases, but Santana struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. to escape.
“I’m very hesitant to get ahead of things, but it was like a playoff game,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, a multisport high school star in northern San Diego County. “They played a lot of guys, we played a lot of guys — the intensity was there. Man, I can look up and down my lineup card and everyone contributed."
The teams met for the first time since the Dodgers swept San Diego in their Division Series last year en route to winning the World Series. The Padres responded by beefing up their rotation, trading for Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove.
Darvish and Snell are scheduled to pitch in the final two games of the three-game series.
“Yeah, it felt like a rivalry tonight,” said Roberts, who downplayed that notion during spring training
Seager homered to center field, his second, with Mookie Betts on second base after making the last out of the 11th. The Dodgers added three more runs in the inning, including a sacrifice fly by reliever David Price (1-0) that was caught by Musgrove, who took over in left field after the Padres ran out of relievers.