LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jake Cronenworth barely managed to knock down Sheldon Neuse’s vicious 105-mph grounder. He recovered and relayed to Fernando Tatis Jr., who somehow dragged his foot sideways over the bag while loading up for a desperate throw that beat Neuse to first by an eyelash.
Although it’s only April, the San Diego Padres know their eighth-inning double play with the bases loaded to preserve a one-run lead in their 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night will probably stand up as one of their biggest thrills of the season.
“To describe what the dugout was, it was electric,” manager Jayce Tingler said. “We’ve been a part of some big innings, or a big home run. That play defensively felt like a playoff home run in a critical moment with your life on the line.”
It’s also just the latest superb moment in a rivalry series that’s only getting more exciting.
Jurickson Profar singled and scored the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning as San Diego opened a four-game series at chilly Chavez Ravine by handing the Dodgers their first home loss of the season. Trent Grisham homered and had two hits for the Padres, who snapped a three-game skid.
Los Angeles took two of three in San Diego last weekend, but the Padres answered with timely hits, a strong start from rookie Ryan Weathers and that fantastic defense in the eighth, capping yet another well-played matchup between two stacked rosters.
“We’re both really talented teams that know how to play good baseball,” said Walker Buehler, who pitched seven innings of four-hit ball for the Dodgers. “You’ve got to assume there’s going to be a few nail-biters in there.”
AJ Pollock and Neuse hit back-to-back homers leading off the seventh for the major league-leading Dodgers, who have lost…