Betts and Stone lead Dodgers to win against Padres

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Excellent start by Stone and balanced effort on offense leads to victory over Padres amidst tempers being flared.

LOS ANGELES — Offense comes alive and the Dodgers get a great start on the mound to defeat Padres 5-2 after a lengthy rain delay.  

The craft right hander Gavin Stone cruised through the first five innings of the game, dealing a perfect game, but ultimately got tagged for two runs in one of his best starts of his young career. 

Mookie Betts once again led the Dodgers on offense with three hits, but it was the bottom of the lineup that jolted the team to a complete offensive performance in cold weather. 

The Dodgers are now 11-6 on the season. 

Here are my three takeaways:

Stone was perfect through five, even with a bench clearing scuffle involved. He finished the night with 6.2 innings pitched, allowing only five hits and two runs with a walk. Although he did get tagged for two runs with two outs in his last two innings, his pitching arsenal was on full display throughout most of his outing. 

The changeup was wipeout, his fastball had great arm side movement, and he pinpointed his command as good as I have seen it in a while. These are the types of starts that the Dodgers envisioned when naming him to the starting rotation, and with Stone going farther into the game than he ever has as a big leaguer, it is safe to say we can see these performances in the future. 

Betts raised his average to .364 and a 1.200 OPS with his 3-5 night on Saturday. Could it be the move to shortstop to keep him locked in for more of the game? Could it be the notion of revenge from a disappointing end to the 2023 season?

 It could be all or none of those, but this is as locked in as we have seen Mookie since his Red Sox days. 

The bottom of the lineup did contribute a ton in the second game of this three game set (five hits from the 5-9 hitters in the lineup), but Betts has simply stood out above all the entirety of the year. 

On offense he is in his prime, and on defense, he is versatile and seemingly getting more comfortable at his new shortstop position. 

Miller has been placed on the 15 day IL with shoulder inflammation. While he did have a sensational start in his first game of the season, Miller struggled in his last two, with his ERA raising all the way up to 5.40. 

Obviously anything with the throwing arm, whether it be elbow or shoulder, is a cause for huge concern, but it seems like the Dodgers aren’t heavily concerned as of yet. 

Dave Roberts, when talking about Miller’s status after the game, said, “After his last start, he wasn’t recovering well…it is nothing structural at all.”  We will keep an eye on this and update with details as we get them.

The Dodgers finish the three game series by sending James Paxton to face Yu Darvish on Sunday Night Baseball. First pitch is set for 4:10 PM PST.