The Dodgers beat the Padres, 5-2, to win their final regular-season series against the little brothers down south. Andrew Heaney earned the win with four shutout innings as the “bulk” guy after Brusdar Graterol served as the opener. Heaney allowed only three hits and one walk, striking out six in his four scoreless innings.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) September 30, 2022
The Padres scored two runs in the first inning that go in the book as earned runs but really shouldn’t have happened. With runners on second and third and two outs, Brandon Drury hit a chopper up the middle that Trea Turner should have fielded but let it slip under his glove and into center for a two-run single.
The Padres threatened in the bottom of the eighth, putting runners on second and third with one out, but Alex Vesia got former Dodger farmhand Brandon Dixon to fly out to center and struck out Luis Campusano to end the inning.
David Price pitched for the first time in a month, earning his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
Gettin’ Miggy With It
Miguel Vargas wasn’t even in the original starting lineup, but he had the biggest game of his young career, driving in three of the Dodgers’ five runs. A sacrifice fly scored Will Smith for L.A.’s first run in the second inning, and a two-run single in the sixth capped a three-run rally and gave them the lead. In between, he had a 102.2-MPH flyout that traveled 389 feet and had a .570 expected batting average.
The kid comes through! pic.twitter.com/nNtJZBRq3F
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 30, 2022
Vargas’s overall numbers in the big leagues this year remain lackluster, but the at-bat quality tonight showed why everyone familiar with Dodgers prospects is so high on him as a hitter.
Ferguson Shaky (Again), but Martin Helps Him Out
Caleb Ferguson came on to pitch the bottom of the seventh inning, and after getting Campusano to pop out to first, he walked Wil Myers on four pitches and gave up a single to Jurickson Profar to put the tying runs on base with the heart of the San Diego order coming up.
Juan Soto worked the count full, but Ferguson threw a fastball up out of the zone and got Soto to chase for strike three. There was no way the Dodgers were going to let Manny Machado face a lefty in that situation, so Ferguson gave way to Chris Martin.
Martin struck out Machado on three pitches. It was as anticlimactic as that sentence makes it sound. Good morning, good afternoon, and good night, Johnny Hustle.
Chris Martin as a Dodger: 31 Ks, 1 BB
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) September 30, 2022
After not allowing a run in his first 18 innings this year, Ferguson has a 4.40 ERA in his last 16 appearances, a slight area of bullpen concern for the Dodgers heading into October.
Best Catcher in Baseball Stays Good
In the top of the eighth with the Dodgers leading, 4-2, Will Smith decided to provide a little insurance with his 24th homer of the year. It was the only home run for either team in the three-game series, and it pulls Smith within one dinger of his career high of 25, set last year.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) September 30, 2022
Smith now has an .824 OPS and 86 RBIs this season, cementing his status as the best-hitting catcher in baseball no matter what the All-Star voters think.
The Dodgers are done playing on the road this season and head home to start a six-game, season-ending series with the Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.