Turner, Dodgers start fast, hold off Padres 5-3 in NLDS opener

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LOS ANGELES — The well-rested Los Angeles Dodgers raced out to a big lead early and hung on against the upstart San Diego Padres.

Trea Turner homered and doubled as the Dodgers won 5-3 on in the NLDS opener.

Behind 17-game winner Julio Urías, the Dodgers led 5-0 after three innings and appeared to be on their way to another blowout of the Padres.

Los Angeles dominated in the regular season, owning a 14-5 advantage and outscoring San Diego 109-47. The 111-win Dodgers claimed the NL West and the Padres finished second, 22 games back.

“We’ve seen a lot of them lately, especially in the last month or so,” Turner said. “Kind of knew what to expect. Still have to execute and still have to get the results, but I think we just were ourselves and didn’t give anything away.”

With Sandy Koufax watching from the owners’ box, Urías retired the first eight batters he faced until Austin Nola doubled with two outs in the third.

“We have to give a lot of credit to our offense,” Urías said through a translator. “They did a good job battling, getting those runs early and putting us in a good spot to win.”

Chris Martin, who had two saves this season, gave up a single in the ninth, when the Padres had the potential tying run at the plate. Struggling closer Craig Kimbrel was left off the Dodgers’ roster for this best-of-five matchup.

Game 2 is Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium before the series shifts south to San Diego.

“No moral victories, but the latter part of the game was better than the first part for us,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said.

“We felt like we had a chance in the latter innings to win this game,” he said. “I think everybody is pretty eager to get back out here again.”

The Padres were coming off a win in the decisive Game 3 of the wild-card series Sunday night over the Mets in New York.

“We need to put this one behind us and keep competing like we’ve been doing all year,” said Manny Machado, who was 1 for 4 with a strikeout.

The Dodgers, who had five days off after drawing a bye, showed no signs of rust.

In the first, Turner hit a 419-foot shot into the left-field pavilion for his second career postseason homer and first as a Dodger. Two batters later, Will Smith doubled and scored on Max Muncy’s two-out single for a 2-0 lead.

The Dodgers batted around in the third, tacking on three more runs.

Turner doubled leading off and after Freddie Freeman flied out, Smith stepped in and doubled to deep left-center, nearly the same spot where Turner’s ball landed. Gavin Lux doubled to the right-field corner with two outs, driving in Smith and chasing Mike Clevinger.

Steven Wilson came in and promptly walked Trayce Thompson to load the bases.

Choking up, Cody Bellinger initially was thought to have been hit by a pitch and took first base as Muncy was forced in. But upon video review, it appeared the ball hit the knob of the bat. Bellinger was called back to the plate and Muncy returned to third.

Bellinger was then safe at first on an error by first baseman Wil Myers, scoring Muncy. The ball hit off the heel of Myers’ glove and he missed it on the pickup, leaving no chance to make a play on the speedy Bellinger.

The Dodgers’ offense — baseball’s highest-scoring this season — went quiet after the third. Their lone baserunner was Freeman, who walked. Mookie Betts and Freeman were a combined 0 for 7 with two strikeouts.

The Dodgers hadn’t played a must-win game since mid-June before running away with the division. But they found themselves in trouble in the fifth.

That’s when the Padres finally got to Urías, closing to 5-3 after he gave up three straight hits.

Myers led off with an opposite-field solo shot to left. Trent Grisham had an RBI grounder that scored Jake Cronenworth, who had singled. Nola’s sacrifice fly scored Ha-Seong Kim, who doubled.

San Diego threatened again in the sixth against Evan Phillips, but the defense bailed him out.

Juan Soto drew a leadoff walk. Booed heavily by the crowd of 52,407, Machado followed with an infield trickler that the Dodgers hoped would roll foul. It did not, and went for a single.

After pinch-hitter Josh Bell struck out, Myers came up as the potential go-ahead run.

Myers grounded into an inning-ending double play, started by second baseman Gavin Lux. He flipped to Turner, and the shortstop double-clutched before firing to first to get Myers.

“It’s a tough one,” Turner said. “He has to kind of make that 360. I’m coming across the bag, so he has to make a good throw to me as well. A lot has to go right to make that play.”

Urías allowed three runs and four hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out six and walked none.

Clevinger gave up five runs — four earned — and six hits in 2 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked two.

OLD MATES

Turner and Soto greeted each other briefly before the game. They were teammates on the Washington Nationals until Turner joined the Dodgers last season and Soto came to the Padres at this year’s trade deadline.

Soto came to Dodger Stadium to cheer on Turner in last year’s postseason.

“A mutual respect that we have for each other,” Turner said. “We’re boys. I know he wants to beat us, as do I want to beat them. I’ll probably talk to him after the series is over and in the offseason.”

WEIRD WEATHER

The wind picked up in the last couple innings, with the center-field flags blowing straight out. Rain began falling after the final out, although it didn’t last long. The grounds crew had the rare chance to roll out the tarp and cover the infield.

“It was definitely different,” Turner said. “We haven’t really had that all year.”

ROSTER MOVE

Kimbrel had already been demoted from his ninth-inning role two weeks ago after struggling much of the season as the successor to Kenley Jansen, who left as a free agent last winter.

UP NEXT

RH Yu Darvish, who had a 3.10 ERA in the regular season, starts Game 2 for the Padres. LH Clayton Kershaw, the three-time Cy Young Award winner, goes for the Dodgers.

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Moments after Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost two decades after his final game, he got the question.

Asked if Barry Bonds belonged in Cooperstown, a smiling McGriff responded: “Honestly, right now, I’m going to just enjoy this evening.”

A Hall of Fame committee delivered its answer Sunday, passing over Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling while handing McGriff the biggest honor of his impressive big league career.

The lanky first baseman, nicknamed the “Crime Dog,” hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams. The five-time All-Star helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot in 2019. Now, he will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote, announced Jan. 24.

“It’s all good. It’s been well worth the wait,” said McGriff, who played his last big league game in 2004.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling dropped after he made hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

While the 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee – comprised of Hall members, executives and writers – Schilling got seven votes, and Bonds and Clemens each received fewer than four.

The makeup of the committee likely will change over the years, but the vote was another indication that Bonds and Clemens might never make it to the Hall.

This year’s contemporary era panel included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A player needs 75% to be elected.

“It’s tough deciding on who to vote for and who not to vote for and so forth,” McGriff said. “So it’s a great honor to be unanimously voted in.”

In addition to all his big hits and memorable plays, one of McGriff’s enduring legacies is his connection to a baseball skills video from youth coach Tom Emanski. The slugger appeared in a commercial for the product that aired regularly during the late 1990s and early 2000s – wearing a blue Baseball World shirt and hat.

McGriff said he has never seen the video.

“Come Cooperstown, I’ve got to wear my blue hat,” a grinning McGriff said. “My Tom Emanski hat in Cooperstown. See that video is going to make a revival now, it’s going to come back.”

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s committee, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot. Mattingly was next closest to election, with eight votes of 12 required. Murphy had six.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their final chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was the GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade with the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.