Justin Turner hits two home runs in Dodgers win over Padres

Few Dodgers batters swooned more dramatically in June than Justin Turner, who hit .209 with no homers and eight RBIs in his first 24 games of the month, but that didn’t shake manager Dave Roberts’ confidence in the veteran third baseman.

Roberts continued to rank Turner in the middle of the list due to his clutch-producing ability, citing Turner’s 38 RBIs, fourth on the team, and a .286 batting average with runners in scoring position entering Thursday night.

That belief was rewarded at the start of a four-game streak against Western National League rivals the San Diego Padres, when Turner hit two home runs, including a two-run hitter in the seventh inning, to lead the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory. in front of a sold out crowd of 53,094 in Chavez Gorge.

Turner followed Max Munsey into the seventh round with a 1-to-1 quick ball from Padres ace Joe Musgrove through the right center wall of the field in his 13th career multi-homer game to lead 3-1. .

Dodgers left-hander Justin Brewl, right-hander Evan Phillips and left-hander Alex Vesia combined for 3 scoreless one-hit innings in place of starter Mitch White, while closer Craig Kimbrel struck out two for three in a perfect ninth for his 14th. save.

The Dodgers and Padres have only played each other three times this season through Thursday night, but the No. 1 Dodgers have never looked too far to spot their division rivals.

The Padres (46-32) have been on their heels for months and only 2.5 games behind, despite playing all season without star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who broke his left wrist in a winter motorcycle accident and won’t be back until the end of July.

“It’s wonderful,” Roberts said of San Diego’s success without Tatis. “I have a lot of respect for these guys. I think they can really apply. It’s definitely something that stands out.”

Indeed, the Padres have 42 quality starts in the big leagues, including Musgrove’s seven innings, three tries on Thursday night, and a fifth-best ERA (3.49) in rotation (3.49) in baseball.

Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel screams after beating the San Diego Padres 3-1.

Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel screams after beating the San Diego Padres 3-1.

(Robert Gautier/Los Angeles Times)

San Diego gave Musgrave a 1-0 lead in Game 1 when Manny Machado, who had missed the previous nine games with a left ankle injury, doubled to left field to score in Nomar Mazara’s RBI singles game with two strikeouts to right center .

The Padres were threatened again in the second when they loaded the bases with one of Trent Grisham’s singles, Ha-Sung Kim’s outing, and CJ Abrams’ single.

Grisham caught a Jurikson Profar flyball in the middle right, but Chris Taylor landed a 96.3 mph one-jump hit and catcher Will Smith made a good shot and brushed off a tag to nail Grisham to end the inning. It was the Dodgers’ highest-scoring field pass since the start of 2020, according to Statcast.

The Dodgers tied the game 1-1 in the second when Turner sent a 92 mph fastball from Musgrove over the wall at left center for a single homer, his first homer since May 18.

White ran into big trouble in the fifth when Profar doubled with one out from the left to take third on a wild serve. But White eliminated Machado with an 85 mph slider and Bruyle played along with Jake Cronenworth with an 88 mph slider in the zone.

The Dodgers received good news ahead of the game when they learned that Mookie Betts’ return schedule due to a broken right rib had been extended by a week to 10 days.

Dodgers catcher Will Smith tags San Diego's Trent Grisham at home plate.

Dodgers catcher Will Smith (left) hits San Diego’s Trent Grisham at home plate after throwing left fielder Chris Taylor in the second inning.

(Robert Gautier/Los Angeles Times)

Dodgers starting pitcher Mitch White pitches in the first inning against the Padres.

Dodgers starting pitcher Mitch White pitches in the first inning against the Padres.

(Robert Gautier/Los Angeles Times)

The right fielder practiced batting, played ball and picked up at second base on Thursday. The team originally thought that Betts would return shortly before the All-Star break. But after conferring with Betts, Roberts said the dynamic leader could be back by early next week.

“This will [dictated by] his tolerance for pain,” Roberts said. “When talking to doctors and coaches, it’s one of those things where you have to deal with discomfort, but there’s nothing that could potentially make it worse.”

Roberts said that Bets would not need a rehab period in the minor leagues and that when he returned he would be in the lead, pushing Trea Turner back to third.

Throwing causes more discomfort than swinging the bat, so Betts can return to second base.

“He’s gone on record saying he doesn’t really like the designated hitter,” Roberts said. “So if there is a way to include him in the squad, and this is second base, we will switch places. A punch, a short shot from a second, the potential reversal of a double game is different from the actual stretching of it.