SAN DIEGO (AP) — With the sellout crowd of 42,667 on its feet in the ninth inning, right fielder Wil Myers chased down Justin Turner’s slicing liner to end the San Diego Padres’ 3-2 win against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. shot both arms into the air in celebration as the fans roared. Third baseman Manny Machado, who saved the game in the eighth with some clutch defensive plays, raised his right arm.
It’s a whole different vibe at Petco Park now that it’s been opened to 100% capacity.
Jake Cronenworth and rookie Kim Ha-seong homered off Clayton Kershaw, Blake Snell pitched five scoreless innings and the Padres got their third straight victory against the Dodgers and sixth in a row overall following a 4-13 skid.
Manager Jayce Tingler said the Padres have been feeding off the crowds.
“It’s absolutely electric. We come out of the tunnel and you get to the dugout and you can just feel the energy,” Tingler said. “You can hear it as you walk down the tunnel. The anthem goes on and you eyeball the stadium and it’s packed.
“Then it comes game time and the place is just electric,” he added. “It fills us full of energy, it fills us full of juice. It’s our responsibility to play good, winning baseball and it’s nice being able to feed off that electricity in the stadium, that’s for sure.”
The Padres improved to 6-3 this season against the Dodgers and will go for a three-game sweep Wednesday night.
The Padres won a wild-card series against the St. Louis Cardinals at empty Petco Park following the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and then were swept in the NL Division Series by the eventual World Series champion Dodgers.
Snell (3-3) got his first victory in four career starts against the Dodgers, including three this year. He didn’t factor into the decision in either outing earlier this season.
Snell was pulled from Game 6 of the World Series by Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash with the Rays leading the Dodgers 1-0 in the sixth inning. The Dodgers won the game and the Series. Snell was traded to the Padres on Dec. 29.
The left-hander, who won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, held the Dodgers to four hits while striking out five and walking three.
“The atmosphere is great,” Snell said. “I love the energy, I love the rivalry, I love everything about it, especially pitching at home against them. There’s a lot of meaning into those starts.”
The Dodgers had runners at the corners with two outs in the first before Snell struck out Will Smith. They loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth before Snell got Steven Souza Jr. to hit into a force play.
Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his 22nd save. Before he could take the mound, though, he was checked by two umpires for sticky substances. He allowed Austin Barnes’ pinch-hit homer with one out.
Kershaw (8-7), a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner who doubled up in 2014 by also winning the MVP award, allowed three runs and four hits, struck out seven and walked two in six innings.
He allowed Cronenworth’s two-run homer to right with one out in the first, his 10th. Tommy Pham was aboard on a leadoff walk. Cronenworth also hit a two-run homer in Monday night’s 6-2 win.
Kim didn’t start after injuring his right index finger Monday night but was OK enough to drive a curveball from Kershaw into the left-field seats while pinch-hitting for Snell with one out in the fifth. It was his fifth.
The Dodgers got a run in the eighth when Smith grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. Padres third baseman Machado tagged Turner and then threw to second for a force. Rookie Mason Thompson came on to make his big league debut. He walked Max Muncy before getting AJ Pollock to ground to Machado for a force.
Snell was checked twice for sticky substances, as was Kershaw. “They’re not going to find sticky stuff on me,” Snell said. “They’re just going to find sweat. If they want to touch that, they’re more than welcome to.”
Steve Garvey, who starred with the Dodgers for 14 seasons before signing as a free agent with the Padres before the 1983 season, watched from a seat right behind home plate. He helped lead the Dodgers to the 1981 World Series title. In 1984, he hit what is still considered the biggest home run in Padres history, a walk-off shot in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Jack Murphy Stadium. The Padres won the next day to reach their first World Series.
Dodgers: Activated Muncy from the 10-day injured list. He missed eight games with a strained right oblique. OF Zach Reks was sent back to Triple-A a day after making his big league debut.
Padres: Kim didn’t start a day after injuring the index finger on his throwing hand while fielding a grounder by Smith. Tingler said there was still a bit of swelling in the finger and Kim went through a pregame workout. X-rays taken Monday night were negative.
RHP Trevor Bauer (7-5, 2.45 ERA) of the Dodgers and RHP Joe Musgrove (4-6, 2.28) of the Padres meet in another marquee matchup in the series finale Wednesday night. Bauer won the 2020 NL Cy Young Award with Cincinnati and Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in the history of his hometown Padres on April 9 at Texas.
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