After a tough loss on Friday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers got back on track Saturday with a 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres behind a stellar outing from Walker Buehler.
He began the night by striking out the side on just 12 pitches in the first inning, carried that momentum all the way through and was in complete control over a solid Padres offense all night long.
Buehler went into the start with just one career complete game — which came this season — but he doubled that total. He went the distance to earn a 10th victory of the year. It would have been a shutout if it were not for an eighth-inning home run by Manuel Margot.
That was the only blip of the night for Buehler. His career high in strikeouts in 16, set earlier this season against the Colorado Rockies in the only other aforementioned complete game.
He fell just short of that against the Padres, punching out 15 while allowing just five hits. BUehler did not have a single three-ball count until the ninth inning.
Offensively, the Dodgers could only muster four runs and six hits, although that was more than enough for Buehler.
The big hit of the game was provided by Justin Turner in the fourth inning. He broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run off Padres starter Cal Quantrill for his 17th of the season.
As for the other three runs, the Dodgers broke through against Quantrill in the fifth thanks to some kind luck. Matt Beaty drove in the first run on a fielder’s choice that was bobbled by Padres second baseman Greg Garcia, and Max Muncy and Turner each had RBI bloop singles that didn’t register much in terms of exit velocity but still drove home runs.
Turner led the Dodgers with a game-high two RBI, and he now has eight home runs in his past 22 games. “It was a slider that was actually a pretty good pitch I thought,” manager Dave Roberts said of Turner’s homer to left-center field.
“He sort of scooped it, stayed through it and rode it out. J.T., his mind is just different than most players. He punched three times (Friday), got into a deep count his last at-bat, didn’t panic, got a big base hit, then comes in fresh and recharged.”