SAN DIEGO — Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer and Amed Rosario and Mookie Betts also connected for the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, who beat San Diego 8-2 on Sunday night to spoil Rich Hill’s debut with the Padres.
Lance Lynn (8-9) had an impressive second start for the Dodgers as they defeated the Padres for the seventh time in nine games this season and kept them from reaching .500 for the first time since May 11.
Lynn allowed a no-doubt home run to Gary Sánchez in the third inning but otherwise quieted an inconsistent Padres offense that had broken loose Saturday night in an 8-3 win. The 36-year-old Lynn, acquired from the Chicago White Sox on July 28, held the Padres to one run and four hits while striking out six and walking two in six innings. The top four batters in San Diego’s order had just one hit, a single by leadoff man Ha-Seong Kim.
Hill (7-11), a 43-year-old lefty obtained Tuesday from Pittsburgh along with Ji Man Choi, lasted only three innings in his shortest start of the season. He allowed six runs and four hits. The Padres are Hill’s 13th team. He also pitched for the Dodgers from 2016-19.
The Dodgers led 6-0 before Hill got six outs.
“It’s big,” Freeman said. “We knew we had to get there early because we knew shadows were coming. That’s kind of the big thing in these kind of games with weird start times that you’ve got to score runs early because we know it’s going to be hard in the middle part of the game.”
Rosario hit a two-run, opposite-field shot into the right field home run porch with two outs in the first, his fifth. Freeman was aboard after getting hit by a pitch.
Freeman homered deep into the seats in right with two outs in the second, his 23rd, for a 6-0 lead. It came two batters after the Padres appeared to have gotten Kiké Hernàndez out at home on Austin Barnes’ bunt that was fielded by first baseman Choi, but the Dodgers challenged and the call was overturned after it was determined Sánchez blocked the plate.
Manager Dave Roberts said Freeman’s home run, which capped a 10-pitch at-bat, was just what the Dodgers needed after their loss Saturday night, when the bullpen gave up seven runs in the eighth inning.
“Obviously with last night, it just changed the momentum quickly right there,” Roberts said. “Put together a great at-bat, finish with a home run and the momentum clearly swayed in our direction. Lance took it from there. That’s the reason we acquired him, is to go out there and pound the strike zone, go deep into games. There was still more in the tank. The bullpen did what they needed to do.”
Lynn said his first two starts with the Dodgers, both victories, “have been fun. The offense has given me runs early and the defense has played great behind me.” He said getting off to a big lead is a chance to “to get yourself in a groove.”
Betts hit his 30th homer with two outs in the eighth off Pedro Avila, who otherwise was lights-out in relief of Hill. Avila tied his career high with seven strikeouts as he held the Dodgers to one run and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Hernàndez had three hits, including an RBI double in the ninth.
Sánchez’s homer was his 15th. Jake Cronenworth homered for the Padres off Ryan Brasier leading off the seventh, his ninth.
Dodgers: Placed RHP Michael Grove on the 15-day injured list with right lat tightness and recalled LHP Bryan Hudson from Triple-A Oklahoma City. … Max Muncy took grounders and some swings and was available off the bench, Roberts said. Muncy was hit by a pitch on the left wrist against Oakland on Thursday. Roberts hopes Muncy can return to the lineup Monday.
Padres: Manny Machado was the DH a day after developing hamstring tightness.
Dodgers RHP Tony Gonsolin (6-4, 4.11 ERA) and Padres RHP Seth Lugo (4-5, 3.54) are scheduled to start the series finale Monday afternoon.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb