By RICHARD J. MARCUS Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP) -AJ Pollock hit a two-run single and robbed Manny Machado of a two-run homer to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers past the sinking San Diego Padres 5-2 Tuesday night in a series opener between NL West rivals went in opposite directions.
“Since the break, AJ has played just as well as anyone else,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. – He has only been a very good player. He has been one of our most consistent athletes in the second half. ”
Will Smith homered for Los Angeles, and Julio Urías (14-3) allowed one hit over five pointless rounds in his return from the injured list to match Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks for most victories in the majors.
“I felt very good,” Urías said through a translator. “I followed the game plan.”
The powerful Dodgers, who have won 10 of 11, were 2 1/2 games behind first place San Francisco in the NL West.
San Diego has lost 10 of 12 and remained a game behind the Reds for the league’s second wild card.
“Just like a group, we do not swing what we are capable of,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler.
Urías, who missed his previous turn with a battered left calf, kept the Padres undefeated until Eric Hosmer doubled with an out in the fifth.
– Urías is one of the best guys in the league. When he came from IL, he looked pretty healthy. We could not get much from him, “said Tingler. “He mixed it up early. He had all the courses going.”
In a bullpen game for San Diego – which is becoming more common with the starting rotation in disarray – midfielder Pierce Johnson (3-3) got the start. After pulling out the side in the first inning, Johnson gave up Smith’s home run and led by the second.
“Our pitcher, our bullpen did a very good job,” Tingler said.
Padres relief Daniel Camarena, just called from Triple-A EL Paso, gave up two races in the seventh of three Dodgers hits. The big battle was the two-run of Pollock with the bases loaded through the right side.
“He had a great night,” Tingler said. “Pollock did a great job.”
Los Angeles made it 5-0 in the eighth against Reiss Knehr. Trea Turner doubled, stole third and scored on a sacrificial fly by Justin Turner. Later in the inning, Corey Seager drove in Max Muncy with another sacrificial fly.
Jurickson Profar hit a two-run homer off Corey Knebel in the lower half. Blake Treinen beat Jake Cronenworth by two to end the round.
San Diego also put on two runners in the ninth before Kenley Jansen beat Adam Frazier for his 28th save.
“Overall, Kenley’s stuff was very good,” Roberts said.
San Diego’s best chance to take the lead came in fourth. With a runner on board, Machado hit a towering drive to the left field, but Pollock timed the jump perfectly and caught it about a foot over the wall.
“The last time I tried to take a homer, I was embarrassed. I did not want to jump late and run into the wall, “said Pollock. “You do not get as many opportunities as the one where you have a catchable ball over the wall.”
Padres leads the season series with 19-4 games, including a three-match sweep at the end of June at Petco Park. Los Angeles ended a losing streak of four games against San Diego, the longest since 2010. The Dodgers have won the season series for 10 years in a row.
Padre’s RHP Yu Darvish threw his third bullpen since leaving in August. 12 starts with density in the lower back. Darvish also took field practice afterwards. “We’re getting closer,” Tingler said. … RHP Dinelson Lamet (right forearm inflammation) began a rehabilitation period with class A Lake Helsingør. The lamb was approaching a return in mid-August when he had a setback due to an infection in his hip.
Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler (13-2, 2.11 ERA) meets LHP Blake Snell (6-5, 4.82) in the playoffs Wednesday night.
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