Homers helps the Dodgers defeat the Padres; Mookie Betts likely to return on Sunday

Did not have Yu Darwisha worst walk on dodger stadium hill.

But because the right-hander was rocked by his former team on a Saturday afternoon, it felt like one November night five years ago.

In their first inning 7-2 win over the San Diego Padres Dodgers hit three home runs against Darvish.

Freddie Freeman launched a rocket to the right. Will Smith lifted the moon shot to the center. Justin Turner stung the linear actuator to the left.

Each was greeted with an increasingly loud roar from 47,061 fans and an increasingly enthusiastic reception in the dugout.

Will Smith walks the bases on the first home run on July 2, 2022.

Will Smith outflanks the bases in the first inning after he followed Freddie Freeman’s homer with a blast. The Dodgers have won 14 of their last 15 games against the Padres.

(Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

“The guys on the bench were waiting for someone to do something offensive,” manager Dave Roberts said. “There was this energy, this mindset, ‘I want to be the next guy to do something to help the baseball club.’ ”

The sequence also brought back memories of the 2017 World Series when Darvish was ambushed early in a Dodgers game. Lost in game 7 to the Houston Astros at home.

Only this time the Padres (46-34) were suddenly beaten – and Dodgers (49-28) moving on to his fourth straight win and 14th of his last 15 wins against the Padres.

Dodgers' Justin Turner and Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish watch Turner's first inning on July 2, 2022.

Justin Turner and Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish watch the flight of Homer Turner – the last of three in a span of four batters for the Dodgers in the first inning.

(Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

After the outbreak of the first half, the Dodgers quickly extended their lead, putting the game out of reach.

With two strikeouts in the second, Padres right fielder José Azocar gave up a line drive, allowing Gavin Lux to get to second base with a double and hit Trea Turner’s single in the next game.

Again with two outs in the third, Jake Lamb dropped an RBI double to the left just off a jump by Jurikson Profar to make it 5-0.

After Tyler Anderson completed 6⅓ innings, a one-run start, the Dodgers hit a couple of late insurance runs in the seventh with a couple of sacrificial flies.

“The capabilities of this lineup are very special,” said Justin Turner.

The Dodgers offense may soon gain momentum.

After the game, Roberts said Mookie Betts likely to return from the injured list on Sunday and play right field after Betts felt well after practicing live on Saturday afternoon.

Out since June 15 with a broken rib, Betts originally planned to return to second base to avoid long range shots, which he said still caused him some discomfort, though did not pose a threat of further injury.

However, after Chris Taylor walked out of Saturday’s game early with a bruise on his left leg – Roberts said an X-ray of Taylor’s foot was negative but he wasn’t supposed to play Sunday – The Dodgers now plan to bring Betts back to his usual place in the corner of the field.

“I feel good,” Betts said. “I’m ready to go back there.”

Another question is where Betts will be in batting order.

Despite Betts leading all 59 of his starts this season, Roberts said he is still deciding whether he will put Betts in first place or keep him. Three Turner there.

In the absence of Betts, Turner entered Sunday hitting .339 with an .891 on-base percentage and misses since he moved into the lead.

“I’m going to talk to Muki to make sure we’re on the same page,” Roberts said. “Obviously, Trea has flourished in the first place. But I don’t know, we will continue these conversations.”

However, wherever he goes back, Betts will rejoin a Dodgers team that has begun to rediscover its success.

Saturday’s win was the Dodgers’ 12th of the last 17. They also extended their division lead over the second-placed Padres to 4.5 games, their biggest of the season.

“Obviously you want to play well against divisional opponents, especially against the team that was right behind you,” Freeman said. “Here, no one is looking at the standings, it’s too early for that. But… it’s just nice to put together this series of works.”

This weekend was as much about a dominant kickoff as it was an explosive offense.

Anderson unleashed the team’s latest gem on Saturday, dropping his season ERA to 3.09, becoming the third straight Dodger starter to give up just one run against a Padres’ plummeting roster.

Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson pitches during the fourth inning on July 2, 2022.

Dodgers left-hander Tyler Anderson has given up one try in 6⅓ innings and has improved to 9-1 this season.

(Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

“Like a rotation, you want the ball to keep moving,” Anderson said. “You want to take the ball and try to keep up with the guy the day before.”

Darvish, who had performed well in his previous three games at Dodger Stadium in the past three years since leaving the team, eventually found his own path, going through six full innings without giving up a try.

However, all this early damage proved to be more than decisive.

Once again, he was defeated at Dodger Stadium.

This time the hosts were happy to be on the other side.