Dodgers show their prizefighter instincts in comeback win over Padres

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Dodgers center fielder James Outman celebrates with Michael Busch after hitting a two-run home run in the 10th inning of a 5-2 comeback victory over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on Sunday night. (Casey Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

dodgers Survived after the attack. He absorbed punch after punch.

For eight innings Sunday, he was outhit, outfielded and outplayed by the San Diego Padres, seemingly destined for a rubber-match loss and series loss against their National League West rivals.

but then Mookie Betts landed a game-saving hook, tying the score with a two-out home run in the ninth.

Michael Bush delivered a go-ahead jab in the 10th with an RBI single, putting the Dodgers in front.

And after faltering overnight, and going long in their first trip to Petco Park since last year's playoff elimination, the Dodgers finally produced the knockout smash, getting a two-run home run off the bench. james outman which secured a 5–2 extra innings victory and a crucial early season series victory.

“I don't know of a statement,” Manager Dave Roberts Asked about the significance of the result, he said. “But I think it was good for us to come here in a fun atmosphere and win a series.”

After losing Friday's first game and a one-run win on Saturday, the Dodgers (21-14) started Sunday's televised finals on the backfoot.

He made two outfield errors in the first inning – Outman mistook a fly ball for a leadoff double, and Betts dropped another while backing up the track – which led to an early win for the star-studded Padres (18–17). Runs added. ,

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He managed little at the plate against the San Diego starters. Joe Musgrove, going four innings without a hit and then going scoreless Will Smith's RBI double in the sixth.

Dodgers star Mookie Betts rounded the bases after hitting the tying home run in the ninth inning.

Dodgers star Mookie Betts rounds the bases after hitting the tying home run in the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on Sunday. (Casey Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

But for a new-look Dodgers team that Roberts has already praised for its poise — especially amid the outward hype of a renewal of the rivalry this weekend, in which Clayton Kershaw and Bates were mocked by the scoreboard and the signage on the stands respectively—they managed to turn around, stay within striking distance and finally overcome all setbacks.

In the final out against leading Padres closer Josh Hader in the ninth inning, Bates came to the plate and took a 3-and-1 count.

The former Most Valuable Player knew what was coming next, preparing for a trademark sinking fastball from the long-haired, left-handed reliever.

What was surprising, at least to Roberts, was that Hader's upcoming heater “didn't have the life it normally does.”

That was all Bates needed to skid 0-for-10 in the series.

He pulled in his hands, barrel-flicked the inner-half offering and saw the ball into the left-field stands.

Roberts said, “He's the best player on the field, and he always has to believe that.”

“He had an opportunity today, and he created it for us.”

Dodgers pitcher Julio Ur throws against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias throws against the San Diego Padres on Sunday. (Casey Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Dodgers' closing flurry was just getting started.

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Busch broke a 2–2 tie in the 10th, lining up a single to left field in his first game in five days.

“There's nothing like it,” Busch said of his first game-winning hit at the major league level. “It's great to help this team get a win, especially at a place like this.”

Fellow rookie Outman put things out of reach in the next at-bat, golfing a two-run drive into the short right-field porch for his eighth home run of the season.

“That was convenient right there,” Outman joked to the wall 322 feet away. “I didn't really think I got it. But yeah, it was cool.

The Dodgers maintained the same low-key stance they had taken, dismissing suggestions of additional motivation or increased importance behind this weekend's series.

Outman echoed his veteran teammates' sentiments when asked about the hoopla surrounding the matchup.

“It's never a good thing to focus on those kinds of things,” Outman said.

Bates laughed at the large banner directed at him by Padres fans on Saturday night.

Bates said, “It's just a strategy to try and get under our skin, get us out of character.”

“We've got a lot of vets here who know handle themselves, no matter what the outside says or does.”

Meanwhile, Roberts declined to engage in such discussion before the game, responding to a question about the crying Kershaw meme by saying he was “surprised” but instructing him not to comment. I went.

Instead, hours later sitting with a triumphant margarita at his desk, the manager pointed to other factors that led to the Dodgers' Sunday night win.

He mentioned Julio UriasStrong 52/3 innings, in which the left-hander conceded no runs after the team's defence-challenged first innings.

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Roberts highlighted the performance of the bullpen, which continued its recent run of form by combining 41/3 scoreless innings.

Most of all, Roberts focused on the tenacity she saw embodied by her team, which withstood an early barrage, picked herself up off the mat and rallied to a victory that surely would have been more difficult for her in-state rivals. The early season felt like a message – even if the Dodgers were careful not to acknowledge it.

“For us to be hanging in there … was huge,” said Roberts. “We play every outing. That's kind of who we've been. There are some new players, but it's nice to see people are buying into it.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,