Tonight, the Padres won a slugfest, and the man leading the charge was Christian Villanueva. After ten seasons toiling in the minors, he finally made his debut last September, and earlier this year he notched his first multi-homer game. While he didn’t repeat his hat trick tonight, his second multi-bomb game led the Friars to a victory over the Dodgers. And he wasn’t the only one dropping bombs on Chavez Ravine, as Freddy Galvis hit his second and A.J. Ellis tallied his first longball of the season. Jordan Lyles had a bad day on the mound, giving up five runs in four and two thirds, but the bullpen battled back. They proved why they’re one of the best in baseball by giving up just one hit and one walk over 4.1 scoreless frames.
Lyles fell behind almost immediately, as Chris Taylor took him deep on his second pitch, a slider that didn’t do much sliding. The Padres didn’t trail for long. After Franmil Reyes took a walk with one out in the second, Galvis swung at the first pitch he saw to take Alex Wood deep. The Pads held that lead until the fourth.
Justin Turner led off the bottom of the fourth with LA’s second bomb of the evening, and then Lyles gave up back-to-back singles to former Friars Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal put runners on the corners with nobody out. A ground out by Cody Bellinger wasn’t enough to plate Kemp, but it did put Grandal on second to take away the double play opportunity. Another old friend put the Dodgers back on top as Logan Forsythe hit an RBI single into right, scoring Kemp. Joc Pederson doubled their lead with a grounder to second before Wood struck out to end the inning.
The Padres got one of those runs back in the top of the fifth when Ellis went yard, but Lyles fell apart in the bottom half of the inning to give it right back. With one out, he allowed a single to Max Muncy, and then walked three of the next four batters to bring him home. That got Lyles replaced with Tyler Webb, who struck out Forsythe to avoid any further damage.
If Lyles had managed to get one more out instead of walking in a run, he could have picked up the W, as Villanueva hit a two-run homer in the top of the to tie the game. Instead, the Friars would have to wait until the seventh to take the lead on a two-out rally. Matt Szczur got it started with a single, and Travis Jankowski put the go-ahead run in scoring position by taking one for the team. Jose Pirela put the Pads on top with a grounder up the middle to score Szczur. Villanueva dropped another bomb on the Dodgers in the eighth, giving Kirby Yates and Brad Hand some breathing room as they mopped up to even the series at a game a piece.
The Padres announced moments ago that Matt Strahm will be starting tomorrow, which hopefully means the Bryan Mitchell experiment is at an end. He’ll be facing Walker Buehler, assuming the Dodger starter doesn’t take a day off. First pitch at 1:10 PM.