Richard masterful in Padres first win of 2017

Padres manufacture offense, while Clayton Richard throws a gem in game two.

By Michael Cline

The Padre bats got to Kenta Maeda early. San Diego manufactured a pair of runs in the 1st, forcing Maeda to toss 29 pitches before recording the final out. It turned out to a pivotal frame; grabbing the lead and setting the tone in the first inning of the ballgame.

Travis Jankowski opened the ballgame with a hard-fought walk. After Wil Myers blooped a single to shallow center, Yangervis Solarte, mirroring his efforts on Opening Day, singled up the middle to score Jankowski.

Ryan Schimpf earned his second RBI of the young season when he hit a sacrifice fly to LF, scoring Myers.

Solarte continued his hot hitting in the Opening Series when he crushed a Maeda changeup to right-center field. The solo shot pushed the Padre lead to 3-0.

It was all the offense Clayton Richard needed to work deep into the ballgame. Richard kept the ball down in the zone, and the ground-ball game worked to perfection. The Dodger offense hit into four double plays while Richard was on the mound.

Richard tossed eight shutout innings, a far cry from the pitching performance the Padres put on display just one day ago. The double plays helped Richard scatter the five Dodger hits and two walks he surrendered. In his first start of the 2017 campaign, Richard threw 99 pitches.

Kenta Maeda didn’t fare as well as his Padre counterpart. The veteran righty of the Nippon league in Japan, Maeda, in his second season with the Dodgers, labored through five innings, surrendering three runs on six hits and two walks. Pinch hitter Scott Van Slyke lined out for Maeda in the 5th, ending his evening on the mound.

Luis Avilan gave Dave Roberts and the Dodger faithful a perfect 6th inning, and Ross Stripling followed with a solid seventh inning. Stripling, however, gave up back to back hits to start the 8th, and Manny Margot scored on a Myers single to opposite field, notching another run on the scoreboard.

After Richard’s masterful performance, Brad Hand entered the game in the 9th, and made quick work of the Dodgers 1-2-3 hitters, securing the first win of the season for San Diego.

The Final from Chavez Ravine: Padres 4, Dodgers 0.

The Padres and Dodgers continue the series tomorrow at 7:10 PM. Trevor Cahill will take the mound in his first start with the Padres, opposing veteran lefty Rich Hill and the hometown Dodgers.

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