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Teoscar Hernández hits a grand slam and Paxton pitches 6 strong innings as Dodgers beat Padres 5-0

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Teoscar Hernández hit a grand slam, James Paxton tossed six scoreless innings to remain undefeated and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 5-0 on Saturday night.

Freddie Freeman hit a solo homer for the Dodgers, who have won eight of their last nine games.

Los Angeles designated hitter Shohei Ohtani came out after his fourth at-bat when his back tightened up. Manager Dave Roberts said his concern is minimal, but Ohtani most likely will sit out Sunday as a precautionary measure.

Paxton (5-0) was masterful while allowing four hits with four strikeouts and no walks in the win.

“James was good again. All of his pitches were working,” Roberts said. “He was on the attack all night long. He kept them off balance.”

In a start against San Diego on April 14, Paxton walked eight in a no-decision.

“Obviously much different,” Paxton said of his control Saturday night. “Zero walks tonight felt really good after the eight walks.”

The Petco Park attendance of 46,701 set the largest single-game attendance record in the stadium’s 20-year history. The previous high was 45,567 on March 30, 2014 — opening day — also against the Dodgers.

Even with the loss, the Padres have won four of seven against the Dodgers this season. The teams play the rubber match of the three-game series Sunday.

With the Dodgers leading 1-0 in the sixth, Hernández blasted a 390-foot shot to left field off a slider from Padres reliever Enyel De Los Santos, who entered the game to face Hernández.

“Just trying not to do too much, not overthink it, not overdo my swing,” Hernández said of his approach that led to the grand slam. “He hung that slider and I was waiting for it.”

Freeman hit a solo homer off San Diego starter Matt Waldron (1-5) in the first to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Freeman later doubled and was intentionally walked in four plate appearances.

The Padres only had one prime chance to score against Paxton, but couldn’t cash in. Donovan Solano led off the fifth with a double, but Paxton induced outs from San Diego’s next three hitters.

“He had that curveball working. Especially (when) he rattled off a couple balls on that heater, and then he started flipping that curveball — and for strikes,” Padres second baseman Xander Bogaerts said of Paxton. “I mean, he had a good feel for that, I guess, as the game went on.”

Waldron was strong in defeat, allowing one run and two hits while striking out six in 5 1/3 innings. He has lost his last three starts and four of his last five.

“You know the old saying, ‘Solo homers won’t beat you.’ Well, it might have tonight,” Padres manager Mike Shildt said. “But when you put the bases loaded based on walking them, you put yourself in harm’s way.”

UP NEXT

Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 6.75) will make his second start of the season and face LHP Yu Darvish (2-1, 2.94) in the final game of the series.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By RICHARD J. MARCUS
Associated Press

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