The first two games of the series against the Dodgers were a lot of fun and filled with offensive power that we aren’t always used to. Unfortunately that didn’t continue into the series finale, as the Padres failed to complete the sweep and end their 2016 home schedule on a winning note.
The action didn’t start until the bottom of the 4th inning. The Padres struck first: Hunter Renfroe and Derek Norris hit back-to-back one-out singles, followed by two more singles from Carlos Asuaje and Luis Sardinas to bring home two runs.
Friars starting pitcher Christian Friedrich cruised through four scoreless innings before the Dodgers started their run parade. In the bottom of the 5th they got on the board with a Joc Pederson RBI double. An inning later, Justin Turner hit an RBI single to tie it up, at which point Friedrich was taken out of the game to give way for Jose Torres out of the bullpen. But a wild pitch from the reliever resulted in the go-ahead run for L.A., followed two more runs on yet another Pederson RBI double, making it a 5-2 lead for the visitors.
The Padres got runners on second and third at the bottom of the 6th, but failed to get those runs home. Then the Dodgers added to their lead with a two-run double from Carlos Ruiz in the 7th and one-run singles from pinch-hitters Andre Ethier and Andrew Toles in the 8th and 9th, respectively.
Down by seven runs going into the bottom of the 9th, the Padres were looking for a miraculous comeback. And it almost looked like maybe they might possibly make it happen. With Adam Liberatore on the mound to close it out for L.A., Manuel Margot began the inning with a leadoff single and advanced to second on an error by the left fielder Toles. Jon Jay brought Margot home with a single, and then came home himself on a Yangervis Solarte double.
With two outs, a runner in scoring position, and two runs in already, the hero of the first two games of the series, Hunter Renfroe, came to the plate. The fans at Petco Park got on their feet hoping for some more heroics from the rookie, but all we got was a flyout. Finally, appropriately, Derek Norris put the nail in the coffin with a swinging strikeout to end the game.
Tonight the Friars will kick off their final series of the season, a three-game set on the road against the Diamondbacks. And we’ll have to wait 189 more days until the Padres return to Petco Park for the 2017 home opener.