ARLINGTON, Texas – Justin Turner and the Los Angeles Dodgers had a walk in the new park to start their National League Division Series.
The patient Dodgers had already drawn nine free passes before Mookie Betts got their first hit in the sixth inning, and they went ahead to stay on Corey Seager’s sacrifice fly right after that in a 5-1 win Tuesday night over the NL West rival San Diego Padres.
“We didn’t get a lot of hits early, but we took great at-bats and we made those guys work,” said Turner, who drew two bases on balls. “Our offense is at its best when we’re walking as many times as we’re getting hits.”
Mike Clevinger made it only two pitches into the second inning of his postseason debut for the Padres before leaving with the same elbow injury that sidelined him during the first round. San Diego's heavily worked bullpen couldn’t keep putting up zeros — or keeping runners off base, even though the Padres gave up only four hits.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series at the Texas Rangers’ new ballpark is Wednesday night.
When Chris Taylor, the No. 9 batter in the Los Angeles order, walked with one out in the sixth in a 1-1 game, it was the Dodgers' ninth walk through 27 batters and the Padres were already on their sixth pitcher. Betts then doubled into the left-field corner to break up the no-hitter, sending Taylor to third and setting up Seager’s sac fly.
“We felt like it was a matter of time,” Cody Bellinger said. “We grinded, and it was a good team win.”
Los Angeles got all its hits in the sixth, including RBI singles by Turner and Bellinger. Another run scored on a wild pitch and the Dodgers also drew their 10th walk, matching Atlanta in 1997 for the most in a nine-inning NLDS game.