LOS ANGELES — Rookie Walker Buehler tied a career high with eight strikeouts, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 6-1 on Sunday for their eighth victory in 10 games.
The Dodgers broke open a tight game late as the Padres went exclusively with their bullpen in the series finale. Left-hander Matt Straham started and went two scoreless innings.
Buehler (3-1) allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out eight for the third time in his seven career starts. His previous eight-strikeout game was May 10 against the Cincinnati Reds. The other one was also against the Padres, when Buehler started the Dodgers’ first combined no-hitter in franchise history with six scoreless innings.
The Dodgers scored twice in the third against right-hander Adam Cimber (2-2), getting things started when Buehler delivered his second career hit, a single to centre. Chris Taylor followed with a double. Enrique Hernandez’s single to left scored Buehler and sent Taylor to third.
Justin Turner followed with a sharp grounder to third that nearly made Padres history. Third baseman Christian Villanueva looked Taylor back to the bag before throwing to second to start a double play. Taylor raced home and scored just ahead of the throw from first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Taylor’s dive, just ahead of the tag from catcher Raffy Lopez, prevented the Padres’ first triple play since 2010.
Muncy hit a towering two-run homer in the eighth off Tyler Webb. It was the sixth home run this season for Muncy, who entered in the fifth as a pinch-hitter.
Bellinger then hit his eighth homer of the year, a shot to centre off Webb.
The Padres scored their only run in the fifth. Freddy Galvis led off with a double to right and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a sacrifice fly from Lopez that carried Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp to the wall in the left field corner.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw came out of his Saturday simulated game feeling fine and will return to the rotation Thursday against the Phillies after spending a month on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis.
RHP Brock Stewart (0-0, 3.72 ERA), who is on his fourth separate stint with the Dodgers this season, will make his second start of the season Monday and first-evefr start against the Phillies. LHP Eric Lauer (1-2, 6.67) will start in the opener of the Padres’ three-game home series against the Miami Marlins, coming off a solid outing at Washington where he gave up one run on six hits over six innings.