Grandal hits 3 homers as Dodgers pound Padres

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[July 09, 2016]  LOS ANGELES -- No hard feelings. But a lot of hard contact.

Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal hit three home runs against his former team Friday night as the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded out a 10-6 victory over the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.

Grandal added a pair of singles -- one on a bunt down the third-base line against a defensive shift -- in a 5-for-5, six-RBI night.

He joins Mike Piazza and Roy Campanella as the only Dodgers catchers to hit three home runs in a game. He joins Victor Martinez (in 2004) and Walker Cooper (in 1949) as the only catchers in major league history to have five-hit games that included three home runs.

"It's surreal. You don't really think about it," said Grandal who came into the game batting .183 for the season with nine home runs. "I really don't know how I did that. I've been hitting the ball hard, just straight at people. The last couple weeks, I started to feel better. My bat speed's been better."

Grandal went deep twice against Padres starter Andrew Cashner -- a two-run home run in the first inning and a three-run home run in the third inning -- and once against Padres reliever Jose Dominguez in the seventh inning.

Justin Turner and Howie Kendrick also had home runs against Cashner who gave up eight runs in just 2 2/3 innings.

"I didn't really command much of anything tonight," Cashner said. "Fastball was out of the zone, not even close, and when I did throw it for a strike it was down the middle.

"I just kept leaving it in the middle of the plate and never really got into a rhythm. It was just one of those nights."

He wasn't alone in suffering with that. Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir threw 34 pitches in the first inning and 85 in struggling through three innings, turning the final six over to a Dodgers' bullpen that has been working overtime recently. In the past nine games, Dodgers starting pitchers and relievers have thrown the same number of innings -- 43 each.

"Yeah, it's been difficult," Kazmir said of the bullpen's workload. "They've done a great job of stepping up.

"I'd love to shorten the game for them because those guys have been pushed really hard the last two or three weeks. It just didn't happen tonight."

It certainly did not. Cashner and Kazmir, combined to give up 11 runs on 14 hits and six walks while lasting a total of 5 2/3 innings.

Melvin Upton Jr. hit the first of his two home runs in the game off Kazmir and the Padres were threatening to get back into the game in the fifth inning. They scored twice against Louis Coleman and J.P. Howell and had the bases loaded with one out when Pedro Baez came into the game.

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Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) hits a two run home run in the first inning against San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

He got Will Myers to bounce his first pitch back to him and Baez turned that into a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play. Baez worked through a scoreless sixth and seventh inning as well, the longest outing of his big-league career.

"That was probably the play of the game," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Myers double play.

The Padres never threatened again as Joe Blanton and Kenley Jansen finished off the victory for the Dodgers, snapping their three-game losing streak.

NOTES: The Dodgers promoted OF Andrew Toles from Triple-A Oklahoma City and started him in center field. Toles had a checkered past (dismissed from the team at the University of Tennessee, released by the Tampa Bay Rays in spring 2015, out of baseball last year) before being given a second chance by the Dodgers this year. ... In order to clear a roster spot for Toles, the Dodgers returned RHP Carlos Frias to Triple-A Oklahoma City and designated minor league INF Cole Figueroa for assignment. ... Dodgers LHP Brett Anderson threw a bullpen session Friday afternoon, his second this week. Anderson is still in the early stages of a throwing program and is not expected to return from back surgery until mid- to late-August. ... The Padres have been very active since the international signing period began last week. They have agreed to terms with LHP Adrian Morejon, one of the top international prospects available. Morejon reportedly received an $11 million bonus. The 17-year-old Cuban is ranked No. 2 on MLB.com's top international prospects list. ... Padres C Derek Norris left Friday's game with a bruised right quad after a collision with Dodgers 2B Chase Utley while running the bases.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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