LOS ANGELES—In what was the longest nine inning game ever at Petco Park, a 4 hour and 11 minute marathon, the Dodgers used a barrage of late inning runs to outlast the Padres 8-2.
Rookie Cody Bellinger, who at 21 is barely old enough to drink, showed he belongs in the Majors after recently being called up due to Adrian Gonzales injury. He has 4 homers in 10 games, including two on Friday night.
“When you a see a young player coming, everyone has an expectation of how it’s going to play out,” said Manager Dave Roberts. “With Cody, every time he steps on the field, let alone in the batter’s box, you think something really exciting or special is going to happen and that’s sort of the way it’s played out.”
With less than two weeks of major league play under his belt, Bellinger, who is the son of former Yankee Clay Bellinger, is already making a name for himself. Just ask Padres manager Andy Green.
“I’ve been aware of him for quite some time now and he took some very good swings today,” said Green. “We’ll have to execute our pitches better. I don’t think we hit spots on either one of those home run swings he had. To his credit, you make a mistake, he made us pay today.”
Bellinger was the first and last player to put runs on the board. He kicked things off with a lead off solo homer in the fourth inning that gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. He shut down the Padres hope of a comeback with a three-run shot in the ninth inning that put the Dodgers up for good 8-2.
Kenta Maeda and four other relievers worked together to hold the Padres to only four hits. He struck out eight batters in five plus innings while surrendering two runs. However, it was Sergio Romo (1-1), who came on to get the Dodgers out of a jam in the sixth inning, who ended up earning the win. Romo had Padre batters chasing balls out of the strike zone which allowed him to record his first win with his new team.
“We chased Sergio Romo outside the zone when we had him on the ropes,” said Green. “We want to be good, win a World Series someday, we can’t play like that. That’s not winning baseball. You have to be able to stay in the strike zone.”
The Dodgers and Padre will play again on Saturday, this time Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 2.61 ERA) will take the mound, looking to improve on his last outing in which he gave up four runs in a loss to the Giants. Meanwhile, the Dodgers will be tasked with scoring on Padre pitcher Clayton Richard who has a 64 percent ground out rate.