SAN DIEGO (AP) — AJ Pollock hit a pinch, go-ahead double in the seventh inning and added a solo homer, and Dustin May struck out a career-high eight to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Mookie Betts entered the game in right field in the eighth inning after missing Monday night’s 5-4 loss in the series opener due to a finger injury.
May (1-0), who made his MLB debut against the Padres on Aug. 2, 2019, got his first career win against San Diego after two losses. He held San Diego to three hits and two runs in six innings, with one walk. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in three chances.
“He was really good,” manager Dave Roberts said of May. “Everything was working. I really loved tonight the way he changed eye levels. I thought he was really good. For him to get through six innings and punch the guys he did, it was very very positive.”
May struck out Manny Machado on a 99 mph two-seamer to end the first.
“I couldn’t imagine a better pitch as far as on the filth meter,” Roberts said. “It was starting middle-in; I think it ended up six, eight inches in.”
Padres manager Jayce Tingler said May “was as good as anyone we’ve seen this year. I don’t think we were as sharp as we have been in the box so far. He had power sinkers and follow that up with a cutter. He provided a lot of trouble for us tonight.”
After knocking starter Dinelson Lamet out of the game in the sixth, the Dodgers went ahead on an unearned run in the seventh. Austin Barnes reached on reliever Craig Stammen’s two-out, two-base throwing error and scored on Pollock’s double to right off Tim Hill.
Pollock hit a leadoff homer in the ninth off Pierce Johnson, his third.
Lamet almost got out of the sixth with a no-hitter and a 2-0 lead before the Dodgers tied it in the span of three batters. Lamet hit Justin Turner with a pitch with two outs, and reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger singled past diving second baseman Greg Garcia for LA’s first hit. Corey Seager singled to bring in Turner, and Bellinger scored on center fielder Trent Grisham’s error.
It was the 74th time Turner was hit by a pitch, setting the franchise career record.
“We bobble a couple baseballs out there and that’s what led to their runs at the end of the day,” Tingler said. “If you give up extra 90 feet to this team, they take advantage. They did a better job of playing catch today.”
Chris Taylor added an RBI single in the eighth.
Lamet allowed two runs and two hits, struck out two and walked two.
“I knew I had a no-hitter going but I was calm,” he said through a translator. “I still felt great in that last at-bat. Had everything working but it was third time through the order he had seen my pitches and able to put a good swing on a pitch that I executed.”
Rookie Jake Cronenworth hit his first home run and continued to make spectacular plays at first base for the Padres.
Cronenworth homered to right off May with two outs in the fourth inning for a 2-0 lead. In the top of the sixth, he leaped to snag Seager’s line drive. Cronenworth also made a nice play on Seager’s grounder leading off the second.
Cronenworth was making his fifth start at first base in place of Eric Hosmer, who’s on the injured list with a stomach ailment. He hit a go-ahead RBI single in Monday night’s 5-4 win and also made several nice plays at first.
Cronenworth made his big league debut on July 26. He was obtained with outfielder Tommy Pham from Tampa Bay in exchange for outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
The Padres scored their first run in the third when Francisco Mejia was hit by a pitch with one out and came around on Fernando Tatis Jr.’s double into the right-field corner. Mejia collided with catcher Austin Barnes, who dropped the ball.
Dodgers: Betts missed his second straight start with a finger injury suffered during an at-bat Sunday at Arizona. “The swelling is dissipated some but not where we feel comfortable having him out there,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Our hope is to get him back in there tomorrow.”
Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (2-0, 2.92 ERA) is scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday night.
Padres: RHP Garrett Richards (0-0, 3.38) is scheduled to make his first start against the Dodgers since Sept. 9, 2015, when he was with the Angels.