Padres walk off vs. Dodgers behind Solarte's HR

Padres walk off vs. Dodgers behind Solarte's HR

SAN DIEGO -- Yangervis Solarte crushed a walk-off home run in the ninth inning Saturday afternoon, sending the Padres to a 6-5 victory in the opener of a rare doubleheader at Petco Park over the Dodgers in the opening game of Petco Park's first doubleheader in 11 years.

Solarte turned around an 0-1 fastball from Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez, sending it onto the home-run deck in right field for his first career walk-off blast and the third by a Padre this season. It negated Justin Turner's two-run shot in the top half of the frame and Cody Bellinger's fourth-inning homer, his 35th of the season, which tied Mike Piazza's record for a Dodgers rookie.

"Fastball that just didn't get there," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Baez's game-ending pitch. "He tried to come in on him, Solarte likes the ball close and if it leaks back, he can put a good swing on it. This wasn't as sharp [for Baez], but for what he's done, the confidence for him hasn't wavered."

Green on Solarte, walk-off win

Turner had been given the first eight innings off, but he made his lone at-bat count, demolishing a hanging slider from Padres closer Brad Hand off the facing of the second deck in left field. It erased a two-run deficit, but it ultimately served to set the stage for Solarte's heroics a few moments later.

"When Turner got the homer, I said, 'Stay focused, Maybe we'll get a walk-off,'" Solarte said. "Then that happened. Wow."

With the loss, the Dodgers, now 92-42, cannot clinch a playoff berth until Monday at the earliest. Of course, their focus remains on securing home-field advantage throughout the postseason, and they have a comfortable 11-game lead over the Nationals and Astros entering the evening's set of games.

Solarte on walk-off homer

The game was left in the hands of the Dodgers' bullpen after an erratic yet effective effort from Brock Stewart, who was called up to make the spot start and allowed one run over four innings but issued four of the staff's eight walks.

"Brock was getting behind hitters," said Roberts. "Four walks in four innings, not being able to put them away. Some 0-2 pitches, he couldn't finish them."

San Diego's Clayton Richard was a bit more efficient, tossing six innings of three-run ball before he was removed for a pinch-hitter after 78 pitches.

"Really, one pitch to Bellinger wasn't competitive, and he took advantage," Richard said. "Other than that, I feel as if I threw the ball pretty well. Was able to keep us in there."

Richard picks off Verdugo

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Record-setting rookie: Jose Pirela's third-inning sacrifice fly tied the game at 1, but it wouldn't stay that way for long. Bellinger led off the fourth with a 409-foot no-doubter to right field, the first home run by a left-hander against Richard since April 2013. He and Yankees slugger Aaron Judge are the only pair of rookies to hit 35 homers in the same season.

Bellinger's solo homer

Getting even: The first three Padres reached base in the sixth, with Jabari Blash's single bringing the Padres within one. The Dodgers could've escaped the threat unscathed when pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez hit a one-out bouncer to short, but second baseman Logan Forsythe played too far from the bag to turn a double play. Shortstop Enrique Hernandez settled for the out at first, and Cory Spangenberg scored, tying the game at 3.

Sanchez's RBI groundout

Where there's a Wil: The Padres will fete Wil Myers for his April cycle on Saturday night with a bobblehead to commemorate the occasion. Myers got a jump-start on the festivities. With the score tied at 3 in the seventh, Myers launched a missile over the head of debuting left fielder O'Koyea Dickson, who misplayed the carom. Dickson stumbled as he turned to retrieve the ball, allowing Pirela to score and Myers to reach third. Spangenberg's single through a drawn-in infield plated Myers and gave San Diego a bit of insurance.

Myers' RBI triple

"I haven't driven in too many runs lately, but to be able to drive that one in with the triple, it was nice just to be able to come through for the team finally," said Myers, who also doubled in the for his first game with multiple extra-base hits since Aug. 5. "Felt pretty good today, working on some things that hopefully will translate."

 

Spangenberg singles in a run

QUOTABLE
"He brings energy every day, and in baseball, that's a difficult thing to do, especially when you're a guy that plays every day. This game's tough, and when you're playing every day, it's even more difficult. To bring energy like he does consistently, that's huge." -- Richard, on Solarte

Solarte's sliding play

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Dodgers had five rookies in their starting lineup -- Bellinger, Rob Segedin, O'Koyea Dickson, Alex Verdugo and Stewart. Verdugo recorded his first big league hit in the second inning.

Verdugo's first career hit

WHAT'S NEXT
Dodgers: Yu Darvish pitches Saturday's nightcap at 7:10 p.m. PT. He's been working on mechanical flaws believed to be the remnants of 2015 Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers will load their lineup with left-handed hitters, among them Chase Utley, (switch-hitter) Yasmani Grandal and possibly Verdugo, Andre Ethier and Curtis Granderson.

Padres: Jordan Lyles signed a Minor League deal with the Padres last month. He'll make his first big league start for San Diego in Game 2 of the twin bill. Lyles posted a 4.50 ERA in five starts for Triple-A El Paso after spending the first four months as a long reliever in Colorado.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.