Justin Turner hits 2 HRs, Dodgers beat Padres 3-1
LOS ANGELES -- Justin Turner finally found his power at the plate and Chris Taylor made a sparking defensive outfield play that was too much for the San Diego Padres.
Turner homered twice, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers won 3-1 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series between the NL West’s top teams.
“Been feeling like I’ve been pretty close to breaking out,” Turner said.
The Dodgers have won 12 of 13 against San Diego dating to Aug. 24, outscoring the Padres 72-29 in that span. They extended their division lead to 2 1/2 games.
Turner was the lone offensive highlight for the Dodgers, going 3 for 3 while the rest of the team was 2 for 25. Freddie Freeman’s 13-game hitting streak ended as he was hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout.
Turner hadn’t homered since May 18 when he hit a solo shot in the second that tied it at 1. His two-run homer gave the Dodgers their first lead of the game. He homered twice in a game for the first time since last September.
“I haven’t felt great, but you still show up every day and try to help the team,” Turner said. “Eventually, you feel like it’s going to click.”
Evan Phillips (2-3) got the win in 1 1/3 innings of relief. He struck out one. Craig Kimbrel retired the side in the ninth for his 14th save.
Joe Musgrove (8-2) gave up both homers to Turner. The right-hander allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out a season-high 10 and walked one.
“I thought he pitched great,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s a tough lineup to navigate through. He’s our best guy. He just had trouble with one guy and tip your hat to Turner.”
The Padres mustered seven hits and Manny Machado struck out three times after a double in the first in his return from an ankle injury.
“It’s his first time up after not seeing any live pitching for ten days. Not a shock,” Melvin said.
They had the potential tying runs on in the eighth via Jake Cronenworth’s single and a walk to pinch-hitter Luke Voit, but Austin Nola grounded to third to end the inning.
“That was probably our best chance after the first couple innings,” Melvin said.
The Padres had the bases-loaded in the second, but Jurickson Profar flied out to right and Taylor made the catch before throwing out Trent Grisham at the plate for an inning-ending double play.
“That was really the play of the game,” Turner said. “Big momentum swing for us and keeping it a one-run game. That was huge.”
Taylor was playing right in the absence of Mookie Betts, who is out with a broken rib.
“You miss Mookie a lot but I don’t know if Mookie could have done a better job,” Roberts said.
Taylor underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow during the offseason after the problem bothered him for much of the second half last year.
“I’m definitely feeling stronger as the year progresses,” he said.
San Diego’s lone run came on Nomar Mazara’s two-out RBI single in the first.
Dodgers starter Mitch White gave up one run and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.
Padres: INF Fernando Tatis Jr. (left wrist fracture) is expected to begin swinging a bat at full speed in two weeks. Earlier this week, he had X-rays and saw the Phoenix doctor who performed his surgery in March.
Dodgers: LHP David Price will be away from the team until Sunday because of a family medical emergency. ... Betts could return early next week. He may be playing second base because it would be easier on his throwing arm than the outfield.
There was no bobblehead night or birthday magic for Trea Turner. The Dodgers shortstop was hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout on his 29th birthday. He caught a ceremonial first pitch from his father, Mark. His mother, Donna, and wife, Kristen, joined to say, “It’s time for Dodger baseball” with Kristen holding the couple’s 16-month-old son, Beckham. Last year, Turner hit for the cycle on his birthday against Tampa Bay.
They selected the contract of INF Matthew Batten from Triple-A El Paso. To make room on the 40-man roster, INF Sergio Alcantara was designated for assignment.
Padres: LHP Blake Snell (0-5, 5.60 ERA) makes his first start since hitting Washington’s Bryce Harper on the left thumb last weekend. Harper had surgery and there’s no timetable for his return.
Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (9-0, 1.58) leads the majors in ERA. He is 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his career against San Diego.