The Dodgers turn Juan Soto’s loss into a win over Padres

Dave Roberts He insisted it wouldn’t be a real test.

After the hit his team inflicted on Friday, perhaps he should.

One night I started with a passionate party in the square Commemorating the late Finn Scullywas supposed to feature a supposedly revamped roster at the San Diego Padres after Tuesday’s trade deadline, and the Dodgers instead set out to 8-1 . winextending their recent dominance of the competition while claiming their sixth straight win.

“Obviously the anticipation outside the ball players is there,” Roberts said. “But the messaging has been consistent on our part, focusing only on ourselves and playing good baseball.”

That’s what the Dodgers family did in the series opening.

They hit for four runs at the bottom of the first, twice taking advantage of Brandon Drury’s mistake at third base to go up in front.

They doubled their lead by four more runs in the second half, burying Padres Sean Manya’s start in doubles from Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger.

They removed the start of the series from there, receiving five goalless innings from first bowler Tony Gonsulin and a bit of late resistance from their visitors, who entered the series high from their move series at the deadline.

“You definitely got better.” Shortstop Tria Turner He said. “But we’ve taken care of business tonight.”

for Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader and Drury – Padres’ four high-profile additions – This was the first time they had lost to the Dodgers in a brown and yellow uniform.

San Diego Padres player Juan Soto sits in the dugout during the 8-1 loss to the Dodgers on Friday night.

(Gina Verazzi/Los Angeles Times)

But for their Padres teammates, Friday was nothing new.

The Dodgers are 6-2 against the Padres this year and have won 15 of the last 17 meetings dating back to last year.

They extended their lead in the NL West to 131/2 games, a seemingly insurmountable advantage with two months remaining in the regular season.

Intentionally or unintentionally, the Dodgers (73-33) delivered what seemed like an emphatic rebuke to Padres’ deadline shoving – which highlighted them bidding on the Dodgers in a brilliant move for Soto.

“That’s what it is,” said Roberts, when asked about Soto’s trade. “He’s a great player. He definitely makes our work a little harder, a lot harder. But there’s nothing we can do. We won’t run from him.”

The Dodger Stadium fans certainly didn’t.

Barely a week after Soto sang “Future Dodger!” Cheers When visiting as a Nationals member, the 23-year-old was greeted with boos during his first trip to the plate on Friday.

It was one of the few times a crowd of 52,714 people sold something other than cheer.

After participating in a pre-game party — where Roberts led the stadium in reciting Scully’s famous phrase, “It’s Dodger baseball time” — they burst into life when he threw Drury away from base-loaded fields in the first, allowing the first two game runs to score.

They were on their feet again moments later, when Hanser Alberto hit a double jump past Drury and down the line to double down, and then again in the third when Taylor, who was playing his first game in a month with a broken foot, tackled Bellinger in the doubles race twice. .

In the meantime, Gonsulin has settled in after his first two grueling first runs, and has gone on to complete his fifth start of at least five rounds this season.

The game was out of reach until the seventh day, Soto was substituted for a few rounds of rest.

Regardless of Friday’s result, the Padres (61-48) are still far greater threats than they did during their previous visit a month ago, when they nearly swept away in a four-game streak in which their attack scored just eight games.

“You definitely have to give the Padres property, Peter Seidler, a lot of credit,” said Roberts, a former Padres player and coach who said he had never seen the franchise with such fanfare. “When people talk about the Dodgers and Padres, the Western National League, great deals, spending money on great players – I think we all win.”

The Dodgers don’t appear to be infallible either, with the playing staff taking another blow on Friday when bowler Clayton Kershaw was put on the injury list due to lower back pain — a problem the Dodgers hope will keep the left-back out of action for no longer than that. From about a month.

“It’s definitely frustrating, but there’s nothing we can do about it,” Roberts said. “I think his only focus is that we do what we can to get him back as quickly as possible, and in good health.”

For now, though, any thoughts on challenging the Padres to supremacy the Dodgers’ NL will have to wait.

Their assortment may be more imposing. Their list is undoubtedly even deeper.

But on Friday, the Dodgers’ latest torment continued for Padres. Not even the new-look Padres menu can prevent more of the same.