Those big, bad Los Angeles Dodgers, who had been off to a historic pace in the first half, no longer seem all that intimidating to the San Diego Padres.
Fernando Tatis Jr. homered twice and had four RBIs, Manuel Margot also homered and the Padres rolled into the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak after a 5-3 victory Sunday.
Joey Lucchesi held the Dodgers in check into the seventh inning while Margot hit a home run for the second consecutive day as the Padres handed Los Angeles its first three-game losing streak at home this season. The Dodgers dropped their first home series since May 12-14 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
“It was an impressive series for us all the way around,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “We got big swings from Tatis and (Hunter) Renfroe and Margot and great pitching from our starters and bullpen. It will boost our confidence going forward. People can see that we are on the right path and going in the right direction.”
Max Muncy and Justin Turner homered for the Dodgers, who still closed out the first half with the most victories in the major leagues. They became the 15th team in major league history to win 60 games before the break when they defeated the Padres on Thursday, but lost the last three games of the series.
As good as the Dodgers have been, they went just 6-7 over their final 13 games in the first half.
“I’m excited for our guys that are going to represent us in the All-Star Game. They’ll get a little less of a break than some of us,” Turner said. “It’s just a time to go regroup, regather and get re-energized.”
Tatis did not wait long to give the Padres the lead, lifting his home run over the left-field wall against Dodgers starter Ross Stripling five pitches into the game. It was his second leadoff home run of the season and third for the Padres.
Margot, who gave the Padres insurance runs with a two-run homer in the eighth inning Saturday, added his fifth of the season in the second inning. His drive to center field bounced off the top of the wall, just eluding the glove of the Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo.
Muncy, headed to Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Cleveland, hit his 22nd home run of the season in the second inning to bring the Dodgers within a run at 2-1.
The Padres pulled away in the fifth inning, aided by a popup that was lost in the sun. With Margot on first base, Austin Hedges hit a bloop toward Muncy at first base. Muncy moved into position, but lost track of the ball as it came down and hit him in the back of the head.
Hedges ended up with a double on the play, putting runners on first and third with nobody out. Stripling struck out Lucchesi before Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called for Pedro Baez out of the bullpen. Tatis greeted the right-hander with a home run on his fifth pitch.
It was the first multi-homer game for Tatis, who has 14 on the season.
“I thought (Stripling) pitched well today, unfortunately we lost a ball in the sun and that happens,” Roberts said. “That inning kind of spun a little bit out of control. Nine times out of 10 (Baez) is going to limit the damage and he just left a pitch out over (the plate). Tatis is obviously a very talented player.”
Turner’s home run, his 10th of the season, came in the sixth inning to make it 5-2.
Lucchesi (7-4) gave up three runs and six hits over 6 1/3 innings with no walks and four strikeouts. He earned his first career victory over the Dodgers in five tries. Kirby Yates pitched the ninth inning for his 30th save in 31 tries this season. Yates earned the save in all three victories over the Dodgers in the series.
“It feels like I got over a hurdle by beating them, but I don’t operate that way,” Lucchesi said. “I try and attack each team the same way. All of my pitches were working well today.”
Stripling (3-3) gave up four runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings with three strikeouts.
YOUTH IS SERVED
Tatis not only delivered the first multi-homer game of his career, at 20 years, 186 days old, he became the youngest player to hit multiple home runs in a game at Dodger Stadium.
His 14 home runs are fourth most among NL rookies and he now has 21 multi-hit games on the season.
“Tatis, he gave a show of how good he is and what competing against him the next six years is going to look like,” Stripling said.
Perhaps most impressive is that Tatis injured his right elbow on a play at second base Friday night and was hit in the left elbow by a Kenta Maeda pitch Saturday.
“I didn’t sleep too well last night and I didn’t find out I was playing until about 12:20 today,” Tatis said of his bruised left elbow. “I feel very blessed and I feel good that I had an impact on the game.”
Dodgers: C Will Smith (right oblique strain) was activated from the 10-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Padres: San Diego will be at home Friday to open a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves before heading back on the road for a three-city trip that starts July 16 at Miami.
Dodgers: Los Angeles will be at Boston on Friday to open a World Series rematch against the Red Sox that starts a seven-game road trip, which also includes a stop at Philadelphia.
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