Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Grandal single in 12th gives Padres win over Dodgers

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[August 30, 2014]  SAN DIEGO -- Yasmani Grandal felt the odds had tipped in his favor.

With the bases-loaded and two out in the bottom of the 12th, the Padres first baseman knew Dodgers starter-turned-reliever Kevin Correia had to throw a strike. And given the fact that Correia needed to throw a strike, Grandal figured it would be with his best pitch -- a cut fastball.

"There was a high chance that would be the pitch," said Grandal, who lined a cutter left over the plate to right to give the Padres their second straight, extra-inning, walk-off win at Petco Park.

Yangervis Solarte scored from third on Grandal's single to give the Padres a 3-2 win over the National League West leaders in the opener of a three-game series.

But it wasn't exactly your typical bottom of the 12th.

The Dodgers employed a five-man infield for two hitters -- and used four infielders on the right side against left-handed hitter Seth Smith ... and it worked.

"We practiced that in spring training," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of the four-man shift.

Shortstop Alexi Amarista singled to open the Padres' 12th and moved to second when Correia, who was demoted from the Dodgers rotation to the bullpen earlier in the week, walked Solarte on four pitches. Both runners advanced when Correia's second pitch to center fielder Abraham Almonte bounced away from catcher A.J. Ellis for a wild pitch.

The Dodgers then brought in center Andre Ethier to play first in a five-man infield. With Smith coming to the plate after Almonte walked to load the bases, the Dodgers played four of their five infielders on the right side.

"I had never seen that before," said Padres manager Bud Black.

And it worked.

Smith grounded sharply to the Dodgers infielder the second from the right, who happened to be second baseman Dee Gordon. Gordon threw to the plate to force Amarista.

The Dodgers should have kept the shift on against Grandal, who lined the full-count pitch through the hole that is plugged in a three-man shift.

The win was the Padres' third straight while the Dodgers lost for only second time in the last five games.

Tim Stauffer (5-2) won the game in relief. Correia (2-2) suffered the loss.

The Dodgers had tied the game at 2-2 on Hanley Ramirez's one-out homer in the top of the ninth. Ramirez's 390-foot drive onto the second balcony of the Western Metal Supply building came on a 2-and-1 fastball by Padres right-handed reliever Dale Thayer.

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The Padres held a 2-1 lead after six innings behind the pitching of right-hander Andrew Cashner. Making only his second start since June 18, Cashner held the Dodgers to one run on six hits with eight strikeouts over the six innings.

The Padres gave Cashner a 1-0 lead in a wild second.

Grandal was on first with a lead-off walk when second baseman Jedd Gyorko hit what appeared to be a perfect double-play grounder to Gordon. But Gordon's throw to shortstop Ramirez covering second was so wide of the bag that Grandal was able to race to third. Grandal scored on catcher Rene Rivera's sacrifice fly to left fielder Carl Crawford.

The Dodgers tied the game in the third after third baseman Justin Turner and catcher A.J. Ellis opened the inning with back-to-back singles.

Cashner struck out the next two hitters -- starting right-hander Dan Haren and Gordon (looking on a 97-mph fastball) -- before Ramirez doubled between the diving Grandal and the first-base bag.

The Padres broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth on three straight, two-out singles by Rivera, right fielder Rymer Liriano and Amarista.

Haren allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk against three strikeouts in six innings.

NOTES: Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig, who is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, got Friday off because manager Don Mattingly said "he looks frustrated." ... LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Sunday's series finale for the Dodgers. ... Albuquerque OF Joc Pederson was named the MVP of the Pacific Coast League a day after the 22-year-old Dodgers prospect was also named the league's Rookie of the Year. ... Padres SS Everth Cabrera will likely start a rehab assignment with Class A Lake Elsinore this weekend.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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