Sports

Snell shines and Padres dominate LA to get one step away from the NCLS

SAN DIEGO — From the opening of Petco Park in 2004 to Friday night, San Diego fans have never witnessed a home team victory in the playoffs. Blake Snell, Trent Grisham and the Padres’ bullpen gave them a chance to go wild.

Snell pitched five-hit ball into the sixth inning, while Trent Grisham hit a home run that started the party at the Petco, where the Padres outscored the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Friday to take an unexpected lead in the division series. of the National League.

The Padres noticed the special energy of the crowd long before the game began.

“They’re going to be hoarse tomorrow,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It was amazing that they kept screaming throughout the game.”

San Diego can clinch what would be its first trip to the NL Championship Series since 1998 if it wins Saturday night’s game. Joe Musgrove will pitch for his hometown Padres while Tyler Anderson will pitch for West Division champion Los Angeles.

Snell pitched 5 1/3 innings, while Josh Hader finished an outstanding job out of the bullpen, allowing no runs. The Dodgers, who racked up a whopping 111 wins in the regular season, were left on the brink of what would be a major disappointment.

Los Angeles went 14-5 against San Diego in the regular season, and has beaten the Padres in nine straight series 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 have to play better ball. When there are opportunities we have to take advantage of them.”

San Diego stranded two runners in each of the first four innings and 10 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 Trayce Thompson for the final out.

The four-time All-Star closer was acquired Aug. 1 in a trade with Milwaukee. He also earned the save in Wednesday’s game, a 5-3 victory for San Diego, working 1 1/3 innings.

“The crowd was amazing,” Snell said. “It’s probably the best crowd I’ve pitched to.”

For the Dodgers, no Latin Americans hit.

For the Padres, the Dominicans Juan Soto 4-1 with a run scored, Manny Machado 1-0.

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