SAN DIEGO – Round 1 is in the books, and the heavyweight Padres and Dodgers didn't disappoint.
“I think it was no secret that the whole baseball world was locked into this series," San Diego slugger Eric Hosmer said. “Everybody enjoyed the matchup.”
Hosmer delivered the tying and go-ahead RBIs in the seventh and eighth innings, helping the Padres beat Los Angeles 5-2 Sunday to avoid a sweep in the first series of the year between the NL West rivals. The Dodgers won the opener Friday in 12 innings and took Saturday's matchup 2-0 thanks to a game-ending, diving grab by center fielder Mookie Betts.
“It is a good preview for many more games to come. Both teams are playing with a ton of energy" Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “We were hoping to win the series, ultimately.”
In Sunday's finale, Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer handed off a 2-1 lead to Los Angeles' bullpen after six innings in a tight duel with another Cy Young Award winner, Blake Snell.
Hosmer doubled in the tying run in the seventh off Brusdar Graterol, then delivered the decisive blow in the eighth. San Diego scored three unearned runs in the inning stemming from shortstop Corey Seager's throwing error. Hosmer's sharp single made it 3-2, and Tommy Pham followed with a two-run double into the left-field corner.
San Diego had lost seven straight in the rivalry, including a three-game sweep in last year's NL Division Series. The Padres and Dodgers will meet 16 more times this season, starting with a set next weekend in Los Angeles.
“We have always felt that we have been in all of these games and we are right there so it was nice today to get over that hump and be on the right side of this one,” Hosmer said.