Dodgers Spring Training: Joc Pederson Hits Go-Ahead Home Run

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers entered Thursday’s game with the San Diego Padres coming off two consecutive ties and a loss. The Dodgers’ first night game of Spring Training this year coincided with their first look at Matt Kemp.

James Shields and Hyun-Jin Ryu both got off to a hot start as neither team was able to generate much offense. Shields went three scoreless innings and recorded five strikeouts without allowing a runner to reach base. Indicative of how sharp he was, Shields’ first pitch to all nine batters was a strike.

Although not quite as dominant, Ryu kept the Padres off the board over his two innings of work in his 2015 Cactus League debut. Justin Upton eventually broke up the Dodgers’ collective no-hitter in the fifth inning with a leadoff double against Mike Bolsinger, but the Padres were unable to cash in.

As both teams shuffled multiple relief pitchers in and out of the game, including Will Ferrell recording one out for the Dodgers, the game remained tied headed into the ninth inning. Two innings removed from pitching for the Dodgers, Ferrell entered the game in right field for the Padres.

After getting Austin Barnes to line out, Padres reliever Jose Valverde gave up the go-ahead home run to Joc Pederson, which proved to be the difference in the Dodgers’ 1-0 win. The home run was Pederson’s first of the spring.

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