There was a comebacker, then a backbreaker.
Thirty-five innings of a lifeless baseball from San Diego Padres lineup this weekend, followed by one unsuccessful inning from the Dodgers’ bullpen on Sunday afternoon.
Dodgers could have won a four-game streak against their division rivals, but they still missed the opportunity for what could have been a massive mid-season draw on Sunday, losing the lead in the weekend final. lose 4-2 in front of 42,633 spectators at Dodger Stadium.
Craig Kimbrel abandoned a decisive try, botching his third save of his last seven opportunities after Jake Cronenworth reached for a line kick that drilled into Kimbrel’s back, Luke Voight landed a decisive double from the top of the wall to the left, and Eric Hosmer hit a dobro single to the right.
Yancy Almonte conceded a two-run home run to Ha-Song Kim later in the inning after Kimbrel left the game with the coach.
The Dodgers then failed in a comeback attempt with their last legs, going two times to a winning streak in their last two at-bats, but failing to capitalize on a day they were stuck at 11-man base.
“Unfortunately,” manager Dave Roberts said, “we couldn’t get them out there at the end.”
When Kimbrel came out in the top of the ninth inning, the Dodgers (49-29) were leading 1-0 and on the cusp of a nearly flawless weekend.
They defeated the Padres (47-34) in the first three games, creating a long-awaited lead in the standings. National League West standings.
Returning to their roster was Mookie Betts, who returned with a hit from a rib injury on Sunday, playing two-for-three with two walks and two runs scored.
And their pitching staff was dominant, limiting the Padres to four runs in their first three games — then shutting them out over the first eight innings on Sunday after a seven-inning gem from Clayton Kershaw.
But then the game changed when a 100.5 mph race hit Kimbrel right in the back.
Kimbrel fielded the ball but didn’t have time to get Cronenworth to first base. Kimbrel briefly crouched in pain before jumping up again, throwing some practice balls in front of the coach and staying in the game.
“There was a thought [to taking him out]”But a guy like that, when he says he’s ready to go and throws in a few passes, we liked what we saw.”
The good feeling won’t last long.
In the next fight, Voight landed a moon shot to the left that landed on top of the wall in front of the Dodgers’ bullpen, bounced off fielder Gavin Lux with an unusual side and allowed Cronenworth to come home and tie. check.
After that, Hosmer landed a good shot, sending an RBI single into the right field, giving the Padres their first post-half lead in Thursday’s series-opening game.
Kimbrel didn’t throw another pitch, coming out with a coach when Almonte was called out of the bullpen.
After that, Roberts said Kimbrel’s back scan was clean, but the right-hander would be lying down for the next few days.
Regarding Kimbrel’s role as closer, Roberts said he doesn’t even consider “a change, despite a recent 15-game stretch in which Kimbrel posted a 6.28 ERA.
“I think he deserved it,” Roberts said, adding that given other injuries in the bullpen, keeping Kimbrel in the ninth inning “is still pretty easy.”
The Dodgers continue to see this weekend as positive.
They extended their division lead from 1 ½ games to 3 ½ games.
Their four starting pitchers combined to give up three full runs in 24 ⅔ innings.
And they got their lineup back in full force with a new hitting order on Sunday, with Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman finishing second and third, respectively, for the first time this season since the Betts in the lead.
“I think it worked out pretty well today,” said Turner, who went three of four with RBI.
The only problem:
“We just didn’t win,” Turner said, adding: “Today we missed one moment, but for the most part we took care of business. This is what it is. There is also a good team. We don’t just distribute games. They kept competing and latched onto it.”