SAN DIEGO – With a mighty swing and a brief pose at home plate to fire up his teammates, Trent Grisham added some spice to what could be a sprint to the finish between his San Diego Padres and the seven-time defending NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Grisham's home run off Clayton Kershaw tied the game in the sixth inning and the Padres delivered the knockout punch in a five-run seventh to beat the Dodgers 7-2 Monday night and win their eighth straight game.
Dinelson Lamet outpitched Kershaw, and rookie Jorge Oña hit a go-ahead double in the opener of a series between the NL’s top two teams.
The Padres cut the Dodgers’ lead in the NL West to 1½ games. San Diego, closing in on its first playoff berth since 2006, has won 12 of 14.
The most memorable moment came when Grisham hit a no-doubter leading off the sixth against Kershaw (5-2) who had been cruising with a two-hit shutout and hadn't lost to San Diego since 2013.
Grisham posed for a second after hitting his ninth homer, looking toward the Padres’ dugout and gesturing toward his teammates. He then had an exchange with the Dodgers’ dugout just before hopping onto the plate.
“They wanted me to run and that was really about it. They told me to get going a little sooner. That was it,” Grisham said of the chatter that came from the Dodgers' dugout.
He said his gesture toward his teammates “happened naturally in the moment. It’s a big situation off a big pitcher in a big game. We look forward to this series and it’s one of the biggest series of the year. The look into the dugout was, ‘Hey, let’s go, let’s pick it up, let’s get after it and let’s go get this game.'"