Dodgers sweep Padres behind Turner’s 5 RBI
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It had not been the smoothest of seasons for the Dodgers’ Justin Turner. First he started six weeks late because of a broken wrist. When he returned, his power seemed wanting. Then he strained a groin and was out another 10 days.
Only with the arrival of August, Turner has returned to his All-Star form, and it was clearly on display Sunday when he drove in five runs to lead Los Angeles to a 7-3 victory and three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres.
Turner is hitting .405 in August with five home runs, 19 RBI, 19 runs and 10 doubles.
“J.T. had a huge day,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
“This is the Justin we’ve seen the last three or four years.”
Manny Machado added a two-run homer that put the Dodgers ahead and gave them their seventh sweep of the season.
The Padres lost their fifth consecutive game and dropped to 27-40 on the road, despite taking an early 2-0 lead against Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1).
“They hit better than us, they played better defense and they pitched better,” said Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer. “They outplayed us. Sometimes that’s baseball, but we have to find the identity of our team. Losing three games this weekend is not where we wanted to be.”
The Padres gave left-hander Robbie Erlin (3-4) the early lead with a solo home run from Franmil Reyes in the second and Hunter Renfroe’s RBI single in the third.
Turner tied it up with a two-run double in the fifth. Machado added his 31st home run of the season, and his seventh in 35 games with the Dodgers.
After a pair of walks and a wild pitch, Turner drove in two more in the sixth with a single to left off reliever Robert Stock. He tied his career-high for RBIs with a run-scoring double in the eighth. It’s the fifth time he’s driven in five runs in one game.
“I feel like I’m in a pretty good spot right now,” Turner said. “I haven’t had any problems with the wrist. It’s going good and I’m seeing the ball pretty well at the plate.”
In his third start back since missing over three months with a torn groin, Ryu gave up 11 hits in his 5 2/3 innings, but held the Padres to two runs.
“I did give up a lot of hits, but I was able to control the damage,” Ryu said.
Said Turner: “That’s what we’re counting on. We’re glad to have him back in there. He’s been throwing the ball great. He’s a pitcher. He knows how to pitch. He changes his height, changes in and out, and has command of four pitches. When you do that, it’s pretty tough on pitchers. He’s good for us.”
PADRES LOSING WOES
San Diego fell to 50-83 on the year, 23½ games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Renfroe, who added a solo homer in the ninth, said it’s been a continually challenging season.
“Baseball is a frustrating game, that’s why it’s the hardest game in the world,” he said. “We are in a bad stretch right now but we cannot get frustrated. You have to battle and grind it out everyday. It sucks to lose and it sucks to have a losing season but we’re having growing pains.”
Padres: As he ran from second to third base Saturday night, 3B Wil Myers was drilled on his side by a Renfroe line drive. Myers was an automatic out, but remained in the game and started Sunday. The play likely cost the Padres a run in the eventual 5-4, 12-inning loss to the Dodgers.
Dodgers: The Dodgers are off Monday and when they resume play Tuesday at Texas expect to have both RHP Ross Stripling (back) and OF Joc Pederson (knee) back. Stripling is expected to join the bullpen. Pederson did pinch hit Saturday and Sunday, but was held out of the lineup.
Padres: After an off-day Monday, the Padres return home with RHP Jacob Nix (1-2, 6.17) scheduled to start against the Mariners. In his first three starts, he has a groundout percentage of 61.0 percent.
Dodgers: After their off-day, RHP Walker Buehler (6-4, 2.96) is scheduled to start Tuesday at Texas. The rookie threw seven scoreless innings and struck out a career-high nine in his last start against the Cardinals.