Cronenworth, Padres rally to stun Dodgers 5-3 to reach NLCS

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Baseball enthusiasts in San Diego had been ready a very long time to celebration like this and the Padres had been very happy to in the end oblige.

What made it such a lot sweeter was once that they toppled the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers, the most efficient staff within the majors this yr and person who had crushed up at the Padres continuously for the simpler a part of two seasons.

Jake Cronenworth hit a tiebreaking, two-run unmarried with two outs within the 7th inning and San Diego rallied previous the Dodgers 5-3 Saturday night time to advance to the NL Championship Series for the primary time since 1998.

Petco Park shook and the sellout crowd of 45,139 roared when Josh Hader struck out Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman in succession to finish the Padres’ 3rd instantly win towards the Dodgers.

Hader and 3rd baseman Manny Machado jumped into every different’s hands and the remainder of the staff joined them in a wild party at the infield grass as fireworks went off above the downtown ballpark. Machado and Juan Soto exhorted the enthusiasts for extra as all of them reveled in the course of a unprecedented San Diego rainstorm.

“Our fans have been waiting for so long and I used to be that fan that was waiting,” stated Joe Musgrove, the fatherland child who began the clincher. “It feels good to be on this side of the ball, I’ll tell you that, but these fans deserve to celebrate tonight.

“I know the job’s not done, we’ve got a lot of baseball ahead of us still, but this is something that needs to be celebrated,” Musgrove stated. “Those guys handed it to us all year long and when it came down to it and we needed to win ballgames we found ways to do it.”

Before a sign-carrying crowd chanting “Beat LA! Beat LA!,” the Padres shocked the 111-win Dodgers with a five-run 7th to win their best-of-five NL Division Series 3-1.

“It’s about to be a party out here tonight,” stated Musgrove, who grew up a Padres fan within the San Diego suburbs.

“I mean, since I was a little kid we’ve been getting beat up by the Dodgers. But when it comes down to it and the games matter, this team stepped up, from top to bottom.”

The Padres had misplaced 9 instantly sequence to the Dodgers prior to profitable the one who mattered probably the most.

San Diego will host the Philadelphia Phillies in Games 1 and a couple of of an all-wild card NLCS on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Phillies beat the protecting World Series champion Atlanta Braves 8-3 previous within the day to win their NLDS in 4 video games.

“This is what the city’s been waiting for for a long time,” stated Machado, the Padres’ $300 million 3rd baseman and unquestioned chief.

The Padres closing reached the NLCS 24 years in the past after they beat Atlanta in six video games and had been then swept by way of the New York Yankees within the World Series. A handful of gamers from that staff watched from a luxurious suite, together with Hall of Fame nearer Trevor Hoffman and middle fielder Steve Finley.

It was once a soul-crushing finishing for the Dodgers after the most efficient regular-season document in membership historical past and supervisor Dave Roberts’ prediction all through spring coaching that they’d win the World Series.

“Shock factor, very high. Disappointment, very high. It’s crushing,” Roberts stated. “Each guy gave everything they had all year long, and a tremendous season. The great thing about baseball is the unpredictability, and the tough thing about it is the same thing.

“Nothing I can say is going to make it feel any better. Obviously we didn’t expect to be in this position,” he added.

The recreation was once not on time 31 mins firstly by way of showers, which returned within the 8th inning and induced a brief prolong whilst the grounds workforce labored at the mound.

After left-hander Tyler Anderson stymied the Padres via 5 scoreless innings, San Diego broke via towards the Dodgers’ bullpen within the 7th.

Jurickson Profar drew a leadoff stroll towards Tommy Kahnle, took 3rd on Trent Grisham’s unmarried and scored when Austin Nola’s infield unmarried glanced off Freeman’s glove to start with base. Yency Almonte, who took the loss, got here on and was once greeted by way of Kim Ha-seong’s RBI double throughout the 3rd bottom line, adopted by way of Soto’s tying unmarried to appropriate.

With two outs and the group on its toes, Cronenworth singled to middle off native product Alex Vesia to give the Padres the lead, elevating his hands in party as he rounded first after which punching the air together with his appropriate fist as he pulled into 2nd base at the throw house. Soto, obtained from Washington in a blockbuster business Aug. 2, slid house headfirst and jumped up and cheered.

“We talked about it all day — we’re winning tonight no matter what the situation is,” Cronenworth stated.

“It took a team effort to beat a really good team and we did that,” Machado stated.

After the primary rain prolong, enthusiasts had been amped up in anticipation of Musgrove pitching his fatherland Padres into the NL Championship Series. The large right-hander from suburban El Cajon, a first-time All-Star in 2022, was once the primary Padres pitcher from San Diego to make a postseason get started in his fatherland.

But Anderson outpitched Musgrove, keeping the Padres to two hits via 5 innings.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead within the 3rd. Betts walked with one out and Turner scorched a grounder previous 3rd baseman Machado, who has carried the Padres a lot of the season, to transfer Betts to 3rd. Freeman, who helped the Braves win the World Series closing yr prior to signing with the Dodgers as a loose agent, doubled down the best box line to deliver them each in.

Will Smith hit a sacrifice fly towards Steven Wilson with the bases loaded within the 7th for a 3-0 lead, however profitable pitcher Tim Hill averted additional harm.

The Dodgers shall be left with an empty feeling. They received the NL West for the 9th time in 10 seasons and completed 22 video games forward of San Diego. The Dodgers went 14-5 towards the Padres within the steady season.

Musgrove was once making an attempt for his 2nd instantly playoff series-clinching win. On Sunday night time, he ruled the New York Mets at Citi Field, permitting only one hit and one stroll in seven innings in a 6-0 win that despatched the Padres to the NLDS.

He gave up two runs and 6 hits in six innings towards the Dodgers, struck out 8 and walked 3.

FIRST PITCH

Jake Peavy, the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner who was once Musgrove’s boyhood idol, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former teammate Mark Loretta. Musgrove switched to Peavy’s No. 44 after he was once acquired by way of the Padres prior to the 2021 season.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: Play their spring coaching opener Feb. 25 towards Milwaukee.

Padres: RHP Yu Darvish most probably gets the beginning Tuesday in Game 1 of the NLCS.

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