LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yu Darvish was cruising through the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup when Cody Bellinger came to the plate in the fifth inning. The slugger went down swinging on four pitches for Yu’s 3,000th career strikeout in his professional career.
“I had totally forgotten about it and someone told me in the game,” Darvish said through a translator after posing for a quick photo holding the special ball at his locker after the 7-1 victory on Friday night.
Darvish combined with two relievers on a four-hitter and Manny Machado and Brandon Drury hit two-run homers in the third inning to propel the Padres.
“It’s a terrific season for him, just seems like he gets better as the season goes along,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said of Darvish. “It’s his goal every game is try to get at least seven innings in. He’s got multiple pitches, he can lean on different pitches at certain times.”
Darvish (12-7) struck out nine to reach 3,003. He had 1,250 in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and has 1,753 in Major League Baseball since coming to the U.S. in 2012. The right-hander walked two in seven innings.
“That’s certainly a moment to pause,” Melvin said. “Another feather in his cap in an illustrious career and there are going to be many more.”
The meaning of 3,000 strikeouts wasn’t lost on Darvish.
“Longevity,” he said. “Just being able to stay in the game that long. I’m grateful.”
Darvish trails countryman Hideo Nomo, who had 3,122 career strikeouts playing in Nippon Professional Baseball before becoming a star with the Dodgers in the mid-1990s. Darvish said Nomo was on “a different level” than him.
“It comes down to being able to have good off-speed pitches,” he said. “You need spin to be able to get swings and misses.”
Jurickson Profar added a three-run blast with two outs in the sixth off reliever Heath Hembree in the second-place Padres’ fourth straight victory.
“We know we have to win almost every game,” Profar said. “We know where we want to go. To show it like tonight against a really good team gives us confidence.”
Coming off losing two of three at the New York Mets, the NL West leaders returned home and dropped their third in a row for the first time since mid-June. The high-scoring Dodgers managed just six baserunners through eight innings; three times it was Chris Taylor, who got on via two walks and a hit by pitch. He walked again in the ninth.
Five players and the crew chief were hit by pitches.
Steven Wilson struck out one in a 1-2-3 eighth. Nabil Crismatt gave up a double to Justin Turner, who scored on Joey Gallo’s single in the ninth.
Dustin May (1-2) got cuffed around in his third start of the season after returning from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander gave up six runs and four hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked five.
May served up his first homer of the season to Machado, who blasted a 410-foot shot to the left-field pavilion for his 25th homer, scoring Juan Soto who walked, for a 2-0 lead.
Two batters later, Drury went deep to nearly the same spot for his 25th homer, scoring Jake Cronenworth, who was hit by May, and making it 4-0.
Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (right forearm strain) had an MRI and the result was “as good as we could have hoped,” manager Dave Roberts said. The 16-game winner played catch. … RHP Brusdar Graterol (right elbow inflammation) had an MRI although Roberts didn’t yet know the results. … 2B Gavin Lux has been playing through a neck issue but Roberts said it was “cranky” and he is out of the lineup through Saturday.
RARE NIGHT OFF
All-Star Trea Turner wasn’t in the Dodgers’ starting lineup for the first time this season. Roberts gave him the night off after 130 consecutive starts, noting that Turner was never going to start all 162 games.
“I said, ‘Are you benching me?’” Turner joked. “I knew it was going to happen eventually. He’s probably right in the sense it’s a good time.”
Roberts had previously indicated that Turner and fellow All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman (who has started every game) would continue starting until the first-place Dodgers clinch the NL West. They own a huge lead over the Padres.
Alberto started at shortstop in Turner’s place.
OUCH! x 6
Three Padres, two Dodgers and home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez were hit by pitches.
May drilled Drury on the left flap of his helmet leading off the sixth, knocking him face down in the dirt and breaking the flap. Drury left the game in the bottom of the inning with a head contusion.
“Scary moment,” Melvin said.
May hit Cronenworth in the third.
Darvish plunked Taylor on the top of his left hand in the fifth. Will Smith was hit in the left shoulder by Darvish in the seventh, prompting warnings to both teams.
Marquez was struck in his upper left arm by Darvish in the fourth. He bent over in pain before being examined by a trainer. Darvish came over to check on him and batter Joey Gallo patted Marquez on the back before play resumed.
Padres pinch-hitter Eguy Rosario got hit — lightly — by position player Hanser Alberto, who pitched the ninth for the Dodgers.
Padres: RHP Sean Manaea (7-7, 4.90 ERA) has alternated wins and losses in his last eight starts. He hasn’t won two in a row since before the All-Star break.
Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías (14-7, 2.32) has struck out seven in each of his last two starts.
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