Cronenworth, Padres Rally to stun Dodgers 5-3 to reach NLCS


By BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jake Cronenworth hit a tiebreaking two-run single with two outs in the seventh inning and the San Diego Padres rallied from a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday to advance to the ALCS. in the National League for the first time. since 1998.

The Padres stunned the 111-win Dodgers with a five-run seventh to win the best-of-five NL Division Series 3-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 45,139 at Petco Park.

“It’s going to be a party here tonight,” said starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, who grew up a Padres fan in suburban San Diego.

“I mean, ever since I was a little kid, the Dodgers have beaten us up. But when it comes down to it and games matter, this team stepped up, top to bottom.”

Political Cartoons

San Diego hosts the Philadelphia Phillies in Games 1 and 2 of an NLCS wild card game on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Phillies beat the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves 8-3 earlier in the day to win their NLDS in four games.

The crowd roared when Josh Hader, acquired from Milwaukee on Aug. 1, struck out Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman in succession to end the Padres’ third straight win against the Dodgers. Padres players celebrated wildly in the infield and fireworks exploded over the downtown ballpark. Manny Machado and Juan Soto exhorted fans to do more as everyone reveled in a rare storm in San Diego.

The Padres last made it to the NLCS 24 years ago when they beat Atlanta in six games and then were swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series. A handful of players from that team watched from a luxury suite, including Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman and center fielder Steve Finley.

It was a heartbreaking ending for the Dodgers after the best regular-season record in club history and manager Dave Roberts’ prediction during spring training that they would win the World Series.

“Shock factor, very high. Disappointment, very high. It’s crushing,” Roberts said. “Every guy gave everything he had all year and had a tremendous season. The good thing about baseball is the unpredictability, and the difficult thing is the same.

“Nothing I can say will make you feel better. We obviously didn’t expect to be in this position,” she added.

The game was delayed 31 minutes at the start by rain, which returned in the eighth inning and caused a brief delay while field crews worked on the mound.

After left-hander Tyler Anderson blocked the Padres in five scoreless innings, San Diego broke through against the Dodgers’ bullpen in the seventh inning.

Jurickson Profar drew an opening walk off Tommy Kahnle, took the third on Trent Grisham’s single, and scored when Austin Nola’s infield single bounced off Freeman’s glove at first base. Yency Almonte, who took the loss, came on and was greeted by Kim Ha-seong’s RBI double inside the third base line, followed by Soto’s tying single to right field.

With two outs and the crowd on its feet, Cronenworth singled to center of hometown product Alex Vesia to give the Padres the lead, raised his arms in celebration as he rounded first, then punched the air with his right fist as he reached the second base. on the shot home. Soto, acquired from Washington in a blockbuster trade on Aug. 2, slid home headfirst, jumped and cheered.

“It took a team effort to beat a really good team and we did it tonight,” Machado said.

After the first rain delay, fans were buzzing with the expectation that Musgrove would launch his hometown Padres to the NL Championship Series. The big righty from suburban El Cajon, an All-Star for the first time in 2022, was the first San Diego Padres pitcher to make a postseason start in his hometown.

But Anderson outplayed Musgrove, limiting the Padres to two hits in five innings.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the third. Betts walked with one out and Turner grounded out past third baseman Machado, who has carried the Padres much of the season, to move Betts to third. Freeman, who helped the Braves win the World Series last year before signing with the Dodgers as a free agent, doubled down the right-field line to bring them both.

Will Smith hit a sacrifice fly off Steven Wilson with the bases loaded in the seventh for a 3-0 lead, but winning pitcher Tim Hill avoided further damage.

The Dodgers will be left feeling empty. They won the NL West for the ninth time in 10 seasons and finished 22 games ahead of San Diego. The Dodgers went 14-5 against the Padres in the regular season and had won nine straight regular-season series against them.

“These guys dominated us all year, but we got hot at the right time. And you see the unity in this group, this fan base – we wanted to give it to these people so badly,” Musgrove said. “It’s a good feeling.”

Musgrove was looking for his second straight win in the playoff series. On Sunday night, he dominated the New York Mets at Citi Field, allowing just one hit and one walk over seven innings in a 6-0 win that sent the Padres into the NLDS.

He allowed two runs on six hits in six innings against the Dodgers, striking out eight and walking three.

Jake Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner and Musgrove boyhood idol, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Mark Loretta. Musgrove traded to No. 44 from Peavy after the Padres got him ahead of the 2021 season. Peavy said he sent Musgrove a congratulatory text message after he pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history on 9 April 2021 and met him for the first time this weekend. “I’m honored that this guy saw me,” Peavy said of being Musgrove’s idol, “because I did it with the Roger Clemens and the Nolan Ryans of the world. I looked up to these guys and ripped part of the game out of him to become my own version of myself.”

Dodgers: Play their first spring training game on Feb. 25 against Milwaukee.

Padres: RHP Yu Darvish will likely start Tuesday night in Game 1 of the NLCS.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:


More like this