Mookie Betts hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer with two outs in the fifth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers held off the San Diego Padres 5-4 on Saturday night.
The Dodgers remained 2 1/2 games behind NL West-leading San Francisco.
Betts drove in four of the Dodgers’ five runs. He had a sacrifice fly in the third that made it 2-0.
Fernando Tatis Jr. slugged a two-run shot, his 38th, on the first pitch from Walker Buehler that tied the game at 2 in the fourth.
Buehler (14-3) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked two. He drew a key walk from Chris Paddock that set up Betts, who blasted his 20th homer on the first pitch from Craig Stammen.
Paddock (7-7) got the first two outs of the fifth and then Gavin Lux singled. He walked Buehler on four pitches before getting pulled, having thrown 30 more pitches than Buehler at that point.
Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth for his 32nd save.
Betts was solid defensively, too. He made a shoe-top catch of a liner from Trent Grisham with a runner on second to end the seventh.
The Padres closed to 5-4 in the eighth on back-to-back RBI singles by former Dodger Manny Machado and Tatis off Blake Treinen. Joe Kelly came in and struck out Wil Myers and Tommy Pham on a combined seven pitches to strand Tatis at third.
Paddock gave up four runs and three hits in 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out four and walked two.
Dodgers: INF-OF Chris Taylor had the night off. He’s been dealing with an unspecified neck injury, although it’s not believed to land him on the IL. He aggravated it on Friday after making a catch at the wall.
Tatis returned to his natural position of shortstop as a result of All-Star Jake Cronenworth getting hurt Friday. Cronenworth sustained a small fracture on his left ring finger after getting hit by a pitch. Tatis initially moved away from shortstop to protect his left shoulder, which has been partially dislocated multiple times this year. But playing him in the outfield, where he moved last month, meant the Padres had to sit one of three outfielders — Myers, Pham and Grisham — every day. And San Diego is in desperate need of offense as the team makes a push for the second NL wild card.
Padres: LHP Blake Snell (7-6, 4.22 ERA) has turned around an inconsistent season with a great run since the beginning of August.
Dodgers: RHP Max Scherzer (13-4, 2.28) is 9-0 with a 2.23 ERA in his last 15 starts since June 4.
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