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Cody Bellinger (2 HRs, 4 RBIs) carries Dodgers in rout of Padres

Apr 24, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (second from left) celebrates with second baseman Hanser Alberto (17) after hitting a three-run home run against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Bellinger drove in four runs with his first two homers of the season and Freddie Freeman got the Dodgers offense rolling with a two-run homer in the third inning Sunday afternoon as visiting Los Angeles routed the San Diego Padres 10-2 in the rubber match of a three-game series.

The anticipated left-handed pitching duel between Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and San Diego’s Sean Manaea failed to materialize as Los Angeles scored seven runs (six earned) on six hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings against Manaea (2-2), who had entered the game with a 1.42 ERA.

Meanwhile, Kershaw held the Padres to one run on four hits with three strikeouts over five innings to run his record to 3-0 and lower his ERA to 2.65. Kershaw, however, remains four strikeouts shy of passing Don Sutton (2,696) as the Dodgers’ all-time strikeout leader.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to the Padres’ first fielding error of the season after a modern-era record run of 16 straight errorless games to open the season.

Mookie Betts singled to open the game and reached second when shortstop Ha-Seong Kim couldn’t handle Manny Machado’s flip to second on Freeman’s grounder. Betts moved to third on a fly to deep right and scored on Justin Turner’s sacrifice fly.

Betts walked with one out in the third and scored on Freeman’s third homer of the season to make it 3-0. Bellinger’s first homer in the fourth made it 4-0 before the Padres finally got on the board in the bottom of the inning on three singles by Machado, Eric Hosmer (2-for-3, run scored) and Wil Myers.

The Dodgers broke it open with a four-run fifth, the runs scoring on a Chris Taylor sacrifice fly followed immediately by a three-run Bellinger homer off Dinelson Lamet. The Dodgers added two runs in the top of the sixth against rookie reliever Pedro Avila on a pair of run-scoring groundouts.

–Field Level Media