Snell shines and the Padres take a step away from the NCLS and dominate LA
SAN DIEGO — Since Petco Park opened in 2004 until Friday night, San Diego fans had never seen a home team win in the playoffs. Blake Snell, Trent Grisham and the Padres’ bullpen gave them a chance to go wild.
Snell pitched five-hit ball in the sixth inning while Trent Grisham hit a home run that started the party at Petco, where the Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Friday. National League.
The Padres noticed the special energy of the crowd before the game even started.
“They’ll be rough tomorrow,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It was amazing that they were screaming the whole game.”
If San Diego wins Saturday night’s game, it will be its first trip to the NL Championship Series since 1998. Joe Musgrove will pitch for his hometown Padres, while Tyler Anderson will pitch for Western Division champion Los Angeles.
Snell went 5 1/3 innings, while Josh Hader finished a fine job in the bullpen without allowing a run. The Dodgers, who had amassed 111 wins in the regular season, were left on the brink of a major upset.
Los Angeles went 14-5 against San Diego in the regular season and has beaten the Padres in nine straight since 2021.
“The core of this team has been in this situation before and we’re going to approach it the right way. We’ve got to win or we’re going home,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We’ve got to play better ball. We’ve got to take advantage of opportunities when we get them.”
San Diego stranded two runners in each of the first four innings and 10 runners in total, but Jake Cronenworth’s RBI single in the first and Grisham’s shot in the fourth were enough.
Most of the 45,137 fans in the stands roared when Hader struck out Trace Thompson for the final out.
The four-time All-Star closer was acquired in an Aug. 1 trade with Milwaukee. He worked 1 1/3 innings in Wednesday’s game, earning San Diego a 5-3 victory.
“The crowd was amazing,” Snell said. “It’s probably the best crowd I’ve ever played in.”
For the Dodgers, no Latin American hit.
On the Padres side, Dominicans Juan Soto scored a run at 4-1, and Manny Machado was 1-0.