Yasiel Puig helps power Los Angeles Dodgers past San Diego Padres

By Joseph D'Hippolito, The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Dodgers' right fielder Yasiel Puig rounds third after connecting with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on September 4, 2016. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 3 | Los Angeles Dodgers' right fielder Yasiel Puig rounds third after connecting with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on September 4, 2016. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES -- Two veteran hitters and a rookie pitcher combined to extend the Los Angeles Dodgers' lead in the National League West on Sunday.

Yasiel Puig hit a three-run home run and Yasmani Grandal added a two-run drive to power the Dodgers to a 7-4 victory over the San Diego Padres in front of 46,441 at Dodger Stadium.


Right-hander Jose De Leon won his major-league debut. De Leon (1-0) collected nine strikeouts in his six innings, issued no walks, hit one batter and allowed four runs on six hits.

"I'm happy for him," said Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes, who also caught De Leon at Triple-A Oklahoma City this year. "He's fun to catch. He was pounding his fastball early in the count and he's got a great changeup.

"I think he had a little bit of nerves. He threw the first pitch in the dirt and he went 3-0 on the first batter. but eventually, he settled in and just attacked the hitters."


If De Leon felt anxious, he had another reason aside from making his debut.

"I was pretty calm until I saw my brother," De Leon said. "He went up to the railing. Usually, I stick with my routine but when I saw him, I went up to him, hugged him and told him, 'I did it.' I got emotional then. That was pretty special."

Closer Kenley Jansen registered his 41st save, as the Dodgers extended their lead over the San Francisco Giants to three games in the division.

Yangervis Solarte drove in three runs and hit a home run in going 3-for-3, but the Padres suffered their fifth loss in six games and their ninth in the past 12.

"He has swung the bat well all year," San Diego manager Andy Green said of Solarte. "He missed a good chunk of the season, probably about two months, with a hamstring injury. It really hurt us when he was out."

The Dodgers rallied for a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning by turning two walks and two singles into two runs against left-hander Christian Friedrich and reliever Kevin Quackenbush (7-5).


Justin Turner drew a lead-off walk, then Puig followed with another walk one out later. Chase Utley drove Turner home and sent Puig to third base with a single past the glove of diving second baseman Ryan Schimpf. Grandal followed with a single under the glove of diving first baseman Wil Myers that scored Puig. Grandal added his career-high 23rd home run in the seventh, and finished with three RBIs,

San Diego used its own two-run rally in the top of the fifth to move ahead 4-3 against De Leon.

Alexi Amarista began the inning by lining a single to left-center field. After Friedrich sacrificed Amarista to second base, Travis Jankowski followed with a bunt in front of the plate.

De Leon fielded the ball but made a wild throw past first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, allowing Amarista to score. Jankowski received credit for a single. Myers' single to right sent Jankowski to third and Solarte's sacrifice fly sent Jankowski home.

Solarte gave the Padres took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. After Travis Jankowski hit a one-out bunt single down the third-base line, Solarte propelled De Leon's 89 mph fastball halfway up the right-field bleachers for his 15th homer of the season.


In the bottom of the third, Puig's first home run since being recalled Friday from Triple-A Oklahoma City gave Los Angeles a 3-2 lead. But before Puig stepped to the plate, Gonzalez crafted an unusual hit.

After Turner walked with one out, Gonzalez followed with a bunt single down the third-base line against an extreme infield shift. The ball bounced to the rear of the infield dirt before shortstop Amarista retrieved it.

Then Puig hit his eighth homer when he sent left-hander Friedrich's 88 mph fastball into the Dodgers' bullpen down the left-field line.

NOTES: Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg called his last game in Los Angeles for Fox Sports San Diego. Enberg, 81, began his full-time broadcasting career in the late 1960s in Los Angeles, where he did play-by-play for the Angels, Rams and UCLA basketball. ... San Diego released INF Alexei Ramirez, who batted .240 in 128 games. ... Former Padres LHP Drew Pomeranz will face his old club for the first time Monday night. Pomeranz pitched in the All-Star Game before being traded to the Boston Red Sox two days later. ... Los Angeles LHP Clayton Kershaw will return to the rotation Friday against the Miami Marlins. ... The Dodgers lead the major leagues with a 25-12 record in day games and a .988 fielding percentage entering Sunday's play. ... The Dodgers will face RHP Zack Greinke for the first time this season on Monday night when the Arizona Diamondbacks begin a three-game series. Greinke pitched in Los Angeles the past three seasons.


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