In a battle of aces on Monday night, it was the Padres who wound up victorious over the Dodgers -- earning their eighth consecutive victory.
Clayton Kershaw and Dinelson Lamet were engaged in a stellar duel, with the score sitting at 1-1 heading into the seventh inning. Kershaw departed after allowing a pair of singles in the inning, having struck out nine over 6 1/3 frames. Unfortunately for him, the Dodgers bullpen was unable to step up for him, as Pedro Baez allowed both of the inherited runners to score.
That would be all the support that 28-year-old right-hander Lamet would need.
Relying heavily on his wipeout slider, Lamet was absolutely electric once again in this one, racking up 11 strikeouts over seven innings of one run baseball. It was the third time this season -- and second straight start -- in which he had struck out at least 11 batters. That made him the first Padres hurler to do so since Jake Peavy accomplished the feat while winning the National League Cy Young Award back in 2007.
Lamet has fully delivered on his long-touted promise this season, compiling a spectacular 2.12 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 79/17 K/BB ratio over 59 1/3 innings. He’ll look to continue his domination when he does battle against the Mariners in Seattle on Sunday.
Kershaw has been terrific in his own right this season, posting a 2.28 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 53/8 K/BB ratio across 47 1/3 innings. He’ll take on the Rockies at Coors Field his next time out on Saturday.
The game also had an extra level of spice as things are heating up in the rivalry between these two clubs. Trent Grisham belted a solo homer off of Kershaw in the sixth inning to tie the game at 1-1, and after he did, he turned toward the Padres dugout, then back toward the mound to admire his shot before trotting around the bases.
Grisham explained afterwards that he ““was just turning around and celebrating a big moment in the game in a big series against a Hall of Fame pitcher… It was emotional, it was fun, it got us going.”
The Dodgers seemed to take exception to it -- chirping at him as he rounded third base. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said afterwards that he took exception to it and that a pitcher of Kershaw’s caliber deserves more respect.
Don’t look now, but the playoff-bound Padres are only a game and a half behind the Dodgers in the race for the title in the National League West. These next two weeks are going to be wild.
Through his first nine appearances of the season, Mike Minor struggled. Actually, that’s a massive understatement. He had been terrible. The 32-year-old southpaw had been 0-5 with a 6.35 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 39/15 K/BB ratio over 39 ⅔ innings.
So naturally, he went out and absolutely dominated the Mariners on Monday -- allowing the Athletics to take the second game of their doubleheader after a heart-breaking loss earlier in the day.
Minor was tremendous in this one, going the full seven innings while allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out eight. It goes down as his second career shutout -- the other coming against the Angels in April of 2019.
The left-hander threw 102 pitches on the night -- 65 of them for strikes. He relied on his fastball heavily, throwing it 66 times on the night, and generating five of his eight strikeouts with the pitch.
A’s manager Bob Melvin told reporters afterwards that he was pleased with Minor’s determination to finish it out. “I gave him the option if he wanted to go out and finish it. It was pretty smoky out there, and guys were starting to feel it in the second game some,” Melvin said. “But he wanted it bad. I didn’t want him to go over 105 [pitches], and he got it done in less than that. It really makes you feel like you belong to a new team and are part of it that much quicker when you have that type of outing.”
He’ll now see if this was just a one-time change, or if he can replicate this success in a very difficult matchup against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
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The Phillies played Sunday’s doubleheader against the Marlins without a pair of their key bats, and it sounds like they’ll be short-handed for a while longer.
Rhys Hoskins was officially placed on the injured list on Monday with a left forearm injury. The injury is to the slugger’s ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) -- which is never good news. It’s likely that he’ll miss the remainder of the 2020 season and could require major surgery.
It’s a tough loss for the Phillies, as Hoskins was having a nice season at the plate, slashing .245/.384/.503 with 10 homers and 26 RBI in 41 games.
The Phillies have also been playing without star catcher J.T. Realmuto. Fortunately, the news on him was a bit better on Monday -- even though he was again held out of the lineup. He has been diagnosed with a mild hip flexor strain and is expected to avoid the injured list.
The 29-year-old backstop is having another strong season offensively, slashing .267/.357/.527 with 11 long balls, 30 RBI and four stolen bases in 41 contests. He’s expected to be sidelined for a few more days, but should return to the lineup before the end of the week.
American League Quick Hits: The Athletics finalized their deal with Lake Lamb. He’ll add depth at third base in the wake of Matt Chapman (hip) getting shut down for the season. … Yankees manager Aaron Boone confirmed that Aaron Judge (calf) resumed taking swings on Monday. ... Gio Urshela (elbow) is expected to be activated from the injured list on Tuesday. … Thomas Eshelman will start for the Orioles on Tuesday against the Braves. … Chris Davis landed on the 10-day injured list with left knee patellar tendinitis. … Eddie Rosario sat out Monday’s game with a sore left elbow. He’s considered day-to-day. … Miguel Sano was held out of the Twins lineup on Monday because of a stiff neck. He’s also listed as day-to-day. … Marwin Gonzalez was scratched from the Twins lineup due to illness… Stephen Piscotty was removed from the first game of the Athletics’ doubleheader and diagnosed with a right knee sprain. The severity of the sprain -- and how much time he’ll miss -- are not yet known.
Marcus Semien homered and drove in four runs as the Athletics fell to the Mariners in the first game of their doubleheader. … Kyle Lewis smashed a two-run homer and drew a bases loaded walk to lead the charge for the Mariners. … Yoshihisa Hirano closed it out with a perfect seventh inning to protect a one-run lead. … Kyle Lewis went 1-for-2 with a double and scaled the center field wall to rob Ramon Laureano of a grand slam in the nightcap. … Jake Lamb went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer in his A’s debut to lead the charge in that victory. … DJ Stewart homered again -- his seventh in his last nine games -- as the Orioles routed the Braves. … Ryan Mountcastle homered and drove in three for the O’s. … Jose Iglesias went 4-for-4, crushed his first home run and drove in four runs in that victory as well. He’s hitting .370. … Max Kepler had a couple of hits and a walk as the Twins fell to the White Sox. … Tim Anderson went 3-for-5 with an RBI double to lead the White Sox attack in that victory. He’s hitting .369 as he vies to repeat as the American League batting champion. … Alex Colome got the final four outs to earn his second victory in that one.
National League Quick Hits: Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Steve Cohen is "in agreement" to buy the Mets. … The Reds finally activated Nick Senzel (undisclosed) from the 10-day injured list. He missed a month’s worth of action, but will try to finish the season strong. … Zack Wheeler (fingernail) threw a bullpen session without issue on Monday. He’s expected to rejoin the Phillies’ rotation this week -- possibly on Thursday against the Mets. … Tyler Thornburg (elbow) was moved to the 45-day injured list -- ending his 2020 season. … Reds right-hander Matt Bowman will undergo Tommy John surgery later this week. … The Brewers claimed outfielder Billy McKinny off of waivers and assigned him to their alternate training site. … The Brewers surprisingly designated right-hander Trey Supak for assignment. He posted a 2.20 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 91/23 K/BB ratio over 122 ⅔ innings at Double-A Biloxi in 2019 before struggling in a seven-start audition at Triple-A. He should draw some interest on waivers… The Brewers also designated Ronny Rodriguez for assignment. … Neil Walker elected free agency after being designated for assignment by the Phillies last week. … The Braves released Robbie Erlin. … Chris Paddack (ankle) threw a bullpen session at Petco Park on Monday. He’s tentatively set to stay on turn and start Wednesday’s finale against the Dodgers. … Eric Hosmer (finger) was seen at Petco Park without his splint on Monday -- fueling speculation that he may be able to return before the end of the season. … Isan Diaz was lifted from the first game of Monday’s doubleheader against the Phillies due to left groin tightness. … Justin Turner (hamstring) could be activated from the injured list on Tuesday. … The Braves inked veteran third baseman Pablo Sandoval to a minor league contract. … Kyle Crick went back on the injured list on Monday with a lat strain. … Drew Smyly will start for the Giants on Wednesday against the Mariners. … Cole Hamels will join the Braves rotation on Wednesday against the Orioles. … Max Fried (back) is expected to return to the Braves rotation on Friday against the Mets. … Jose De Leon left Monday’s game against the Pirates with a groin injury.
Trevor Bauer racked up 12 strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings of one-run baseball in a no-decision against the Pirates in the first game of their doubleheader. … Colin Moran blasted a solo homer in the seventh inning to deny Bauer a chance at a victory. … Tyler Stephenson delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer to walk it off for the Reds in that one. … Josh Bell went 2-for-3 with a homer as the Pirates dropped the nightcap as well. … Mike Moustakas clubbed a three-run homer for the Reds to lead the way in that one. … Joey Votto homered in both games of the twin bill for the Reds. … Pablo Lopez fanned six over seven innings of one-run ball in a victory over the Phillies. … Miguel Rojas went 2-for-3 with a homer in that one. … Scott Kingery and Andrew McCutchen homered in a losing cause for the Phillies. … Kwang-Hyun Kim fired seven scoreless innings and struck out six in a tough-luck no-decision against the Brewers in the first game of their twin bill. … Josh Lindblom fanned six over five shutout innings on the other side. … Keston Hiura walked that one off with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. … Daniel Ponce de Leon struck out a season-high nine batters over six innings of two-run ball in a no-decision in the second game of the doubleheader. … Corbin Burnes punched out 10 over 4 2/3 innings on the other side. … Ultimately it was a go-ahead RBI single by Paul DeJong in the ninth inning that proved to be the difference in that one. … Freddie Freeman clubbed his 11th homer as the Braves were crushed by the Orioles. … Wil Myers swatted his 13th home run as the Padres topped the Dodgers.