Fernando Tatis Jr. put on another show at Dodger Stadium Saturday, but in a losing effort as the Padres fell to the Dodgers 5-4.
Tatis repeated his two-homer performance – like Friday, they were both solo shots – and as he is known to do, executed them with some flair.
He hit both off Trevor Bauer, and in doing so he poked a little fun at two of the Dodger starter’s noted quirks.
After his homer to left in the 1st inning, Tatis turned to the Padre bench as he rounded 1st base and covered an eye. Bauer opted to pitch with one eye closed at times during spring training, including against the Padres.
After his second homer off Bauer, to left center in the 6th, Tatis flipped his bat, then strutted as he crossed the plate. Bauer sometimes leaves the mound mimicking the stride of MMA star Conor McGregor.
These bits of business added color to what have been six closely fought games between the National League West rivals this weekend and last. Tatis’ second homer, in fact, gave his team a 3-2 edge, but the Dodgers quickly bounced back.
Blake Snell left in the bottom of the 6th, after giving up two runs and seven hits, while striking out seven.
He threw 87 pitches, and manager Jayce Tingler said he wanted to keep Snell’s pitch count around 90.
“He battled and he put us in a position to win the game,” Tingler said.
But the Dodgers promptly took the lead after Snell departed – shades of the 2020 World Series – as reliever Pierce Johnson failed to record an out while being charged with three runs.
Aaron Northcraft, making his Major League debut, followed with two scoreless innings, to keep the Padres close.
They pulled within a run of the Dodgers when Jake Cronenworth scored on a wild pitch in the 7th. The Friars failed to score again though, leaving runners in scoring position in each of the last three innings. Trent Grisham struck out to end two of those frames, the 7th and the 9th.
He struck out four times on the night.
Bauer won the game to improve to 3-0, while Kenley Jansen earned his fifth save. Johnson took the loss.
The teams wrap up the four-game series at 4 p.m. as Joe Musgrove and Dustin May start. The game will air nationally on ESPN.