LOS ANGELES (AP) — Walker Buehler tossed seven shutout innings to shake off his September slump and earn a career-best 15th victory, and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 2-1 on Tuesday night.
The Dodgers came into the game trailing the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants by two games.READ MORE: FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Emergency Use Authorization For Johnson & Johnson Booster
Buehler reached 202 2/3 innings pitched for the first time in his career, surpassing his previous high of 182 1/3 in 2019. The right-hander also went over 200 strikeouts, getting five to reach 201. His career high is 215, set two years ago.
Buehler (15-4) allowed three hits in his career-high 32nd start of the season. He walked two to win for the first time since Sept. 11, also against the Padres.
After his ERA got lower in June, July and August, putting him in Cy Young Award contention, Buehler suddenly struggled in September. His ERA for the month reached to 7.32 and he gave up 26 hits and 16 earned runs.
But Buehler came out aggressively against the Padres, who were mathematically eliminated from wild-card contention on Monday.
He gave up one walk through the first four innings. Eric Hosmer reached on an infield single to Buehler leading off the fifth for the Padres’ first hit. Hosmer didn’t last long on the basepaths, getting thrown out at second when Wil Myers hit into a double play to third.READ MORE: Some Parent Groups Proposing Monday 'Sit-Outs' At Schools To Protest Against Vaccine Mandates
Trailing 2-0, the Padres threatened in the ninth. Jake Cronenworth homered off Blake Treinen, who then walked Hosmer with two outs. Hosmer stole second to put the potential tying run on second. Pinch-hitter Tommy Pham took a called third strike to end the game. Treinen earned his seventh save.
The Padres didn’t have a runner in scoring position until the sixth, when Victor Caratini poked a single into left and took second on Adam Frazier’s walk. But Fernando Tatis Jr. grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Hosmer was San Diego’s second runner to reach second base, doubling to left and narrowly avoiding the tag with two outs in the seventh. Trea Turner made an over-the-shoulder catch like a wide receiver on Myers’ fly to end the inning.
The Dodgers, wearing their all blue alternate uniforms, scored in the first on Trea Turner’s RBI double and the third on AJ Pollock’s RBI single.
They had plenty of other chances to blow the game open, drawing nine walks and stranding 13 runners. They were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Fans heavily booed Tatis and former Dodger Manny Machado, who wore gold shoes. The two sluggers were a combined 0 for 8. Tatis struck out three times as the Padres lost their fourth in a row.MORE NEWS: Section Of MacArthur Park To Close To Begin Repairs, Maintenance Work
San Diego’s Yu Darvish (8-11) gave up two runs and five hits in four innings, leaving after he reached 85 pitches. The right-hander struck out six and walked four in what was likely his final start of the season.