Darvish dominates Padres as Dodgers reach 100 wins
LOS ANGELES (AP) — If there were any lingering questions about whether Yu Darvish is ready for the playoffs, he answered them Monday night.
Darvish pitched two-hit ball over seven innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 9-3 to reach 100 wins for the first time in 43 years.
Los Angeles acquired Darvish from Texas just before the July 31 trade deadline to help bolster a rotation that has designs on a World Series title. He’s been up and down since arriving, but the Dodgers don’t have to wonder about his confidence heading into the postseason.
“That’s continued to build over his last few starts,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We’ve talked about what it takes to win a championship and what we believe is it starts with starting pitching and Yu is a big part of where we’re trying to go. For him to get that confidence, I think we can certainly be much more optimistic.”
Logan Forsythe went 3 for 3 with a home run and four RBIs as the NL West champions moved 1 games ahead of Cleveland for the best record in the majors and home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Los Angeles (100-57) can secure home-field edge for the entire NL playoffs Tuesday with a win and a Washington loss.
Austin Barnes hit a three-run homer for the Dodgers, who hadn’t reached the century mark since winning 102 regular-season games in 1974.
“I think it’s pretty special and we’re all very fortunate to be a part of this,” Forsythe said. “It’s wild to think a team gets to 100 wins. To do it tonight and contribute a little bit, it’s been a lot of fun.”
Darvish (10-12) was perfect through four innings and didn’t allow a hit until Hunter Renfroe doubled with one out in the fifth. The right-hander permitted one run while striking out nine and walking none.
“I think I’m in a really good position physically and mentally,” Darvish said through a translator. “What we wanted to work on from the last outing was pitch selection and some details. We had a really good talk before the game with (catcher Yasmani) Grandal. The game plan (worked). I feel really good.”
Forsythe hit a three-run double in the first and a solo homer in the third. Barnes went deep in the fifth.
Darvish’s performance was exactly the stuff Los Angeles is looking for when the postseason starts next week.
“I think you know at times he can be absolutely dominant,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “I think we saw that version of him tonight. I think the last couple of times he’s been on the mound he’s looked that way.”?
Struggling reliever Pedro Baez pitched a scoreless ninth for the Dodgers.
Padres starter Travis Wood (4-7) allowed six runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig arrived late to the ballpark for a scheduled workout and was benched by Roberts. Puig was not in the lineup Sunday, either, after a game-ending baserunning gaffe the previous day. Roberts stopped short of saying Puig got punished Sunday, but made it clear the 26-year-old Cuban slugger was being disciplined Monday.
“It’s one of those things where we all have to be accountable to one another,” Roberts said after the game. “We’re all aligned and our focus is winning baseball games and a championship for the Dodgers.”