LOS ANGELES—The Dodgers still have a heartbeat in the NL West race, and it was throbbing late in the game.
Corey Seager hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning, when Los Angeles went deep four times to rally past the San Diego Padres 11-9 on Wednesday night.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called it “a crazy explosion.”
The defending World Series champions trailed 9-6 before Max Muncy and AJ Pollock began the onslaught by going back-to-back off Emilio Pagán (4-3). With one out, Cody Bellinger launched a shot to right field that tied the game. Pinch-hitter Justin Turner doubled to deep left and scored on Seager’s shot to right with two outs.
“That’s a whirlwind in a really short time,” Seager said.
Thanks to their scintillating comeback, the playoff-bound Dodgers remained two games behind NL West-leading San Francisco with four to play in the regular season. The Giants beat Arizona 1-0.
“We’re still trying to accomplish a goal and still fighting for that,” Seager said.
Many fans had already left Dodger Stadium, but those who remained were on their feet in the eighth, chanting and cheering as the outburst sent the crowd into a frenzy.
“We just never gave up,” Seager said. “We kind of felt in that game the whole time.”
It was the first time the Dodgers homered four times — all off Zack Greinke — in an inning since Sept. 5, 2016, against Arizona. Seager played in that game, too.
Mookie Betts hit a solo shot in the seventh to begin the rally, and Pollock had a two-run homer in the first.
Los Angeles blew leads of 4-0 and 5-1 on a night when Max Scherzer struggled and got his second straight no-decision.
David Price (5-2) pitched the eighth to earn the win. Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for his 37th save.
Muncy’s homer was his career-high 36th.
“I went back and looked at every pitch, all 20,” Pagán said. “The only one that I didn’t like was the one that Muncy hit. This has been happening to me for way too long with, in my opinion, too good of stuff.”
The late power burst was reminiscent of a Sept. 18, 2006, game between the teams. The Dodgers hit four consecutive homers in the bottom of the ninth to tie it, and Nomar Garciaparra’s two-run homer in the 10th gave them an 11-10 victory that put Los Angeles back in first place.
Garciaparra was at the ballpark Wednesday night. Roberts was a player on that 2006 Padres team.
“It certainly reminded me of that night. A lot of the same vibe,” Roberts said. “To be in this dugout is a much better feeling than to be in the visiting dugout.”
Scherzer got knocked around in his roughest start since he joined the Dodgers from Washington at the trade deadline on July 30.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner gave up six runs — five earned — and a season-high 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander, whose 2.28 ERA was the lowest in the NL coming in, struck out four and walked none. He allowed two homers, just the sixth time he’s given up more than one in a game this season and the third time the Padres have done it to him.
“He just didn’t have good command,” Roberts said. “He’s picked us up many times over and we picked him up. He was one of the happiest guys after.”
San Diego’s Victor Caratini went 3 for 4 and homered off Scherzer. Former Dodger Manny Machado launched a two-run shot in the third to leave the Padres trailing 5-3.
“This one definitely hurts because of the way we came back,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “I thought we did a great job of swinging the bat.”
The Dodgers made two errors in the fourth, when the Padres tied it 5-all. Third baseman Chris Taylor’s fielding error would have been the second out of the inning. Seager booted a ball at shortstop that allowed Wil Myers to score the tying run.
Tommy Pham had an RBI double and Trent Grisham added a two-run single for a 9-5 lead in the seventh, when reliever Brusdar Graterol faced four batters, giving up two walks, two hits and three runs.
The Dodgers lost hot-hitting outfielder Gavin Lux in the sixth. He crashed into the center-field wall head on and tumbled over while chasing Myers’ triple. Roberts and a trainer came running out to the warning track to check on Lux, who appeared to be holding his right shoulder. Lux came in batting .383 since being recalled from Triple-A two weeks ago.
Scherzer had issues for the second straight start. He didn’t look sharp at Colorado last Thursday, allowing five runs and six hits in a no-decision. This time, he didn’t get his second strikeout until the fifth, when he had his first 1-2-3 inning of the game.
The Dodgers led 4-0 in the first on Trea Turner’s RBI double, Muncy’s RBI single and Pollock’s two-run homer. Seager added an RBI double in the second for a 5-1 lead.
Padres: RF Jurickson Profar exited after hurting his left arm attempting a slide. … RHP Craig Stammen wasn’t active but felt better since going on the IL with flu-like symptoms.
Dodgers: Activated 1B Albert Pujols from the COVID-19 injured list. He felt better after having his second vaccine shot. … Optioned LHP Andrew Vasquez to the minors.
Padres: RHP Vince Velasquez (3-8, 6.22 ERA) was signed to a minor league deal two weeks ago after being released by the Phillies.
Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (4-1, 3.00) has allowed one run in 13 2/3 innings in his career against the Padres, going 2-0 in three games.
By Beth Harris