SAN DIEGO — Max Scherzer pitched 7 2/3 dominant innings to win his eighth straight decision, Austin Barnes hit a two-run home run off Yu Darvish and the surging Los Angeles Dodgers beat the plunging San Diego Padres 4-0 Thursday night for a three-game sweep.
Scherzer (12-4) allowed only two hits, struck out 10 and walked one for the Dodgers, who handled the listless Padres less than 24 hours after winning 5-3 in a 16-inning game that took 5 hours, 49 minutes, and ended at 12:59 a.m. PT. It was the longest big league game since pandemic rules were implemented last year.
The Dodgers won for the 12th time in 13 games and for the 16th time in 18. They trail the San Francisco Giants by 2 1/2 games in the NL West but enjoy an 11 1/2-game lead for the first wild-card spot.
San Diego has lost four straight and 12 of 14. It dropped two games behind Cincinnati for the second wild card.
Scherzer hasn't lost since May 30 against Milwaukee, a span of 13 starts that dates to his time with Washington. He is 4-0 in five starts with the Dodgers since being acquired on July 30 along with infielder Trea Turner.
Scherzer struck out the side in the first and retired his first seven batters before Victor Caratini doubled down the right field line. The only other hit he gave up was Trent Grisham's double leading off the fifth, but the Dodgers got out of the inning when third baseman Justin Turner started a double play on Caratini's grounder.
Scherzer struck out his final batter, Caratini, for the second out of the eighth, before getting the hook from manager Dave Roberts.
Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star, improved to 1-0 in three starts against San Diego this season. He allowed 11 runs in 10 2/3 innings in his two previous starts against the Padres, both in July with Washington.
Darvish (7-8), activated from the 10-day injured list before the game, allowed four hits and five runs in six innings, struck out six and walked one.
Darvish walked Billy McKinney leading off the third and Barnes followed with a homer into the seats in left-centre. Trea Turner hit a one-out double and scored on Corey Seager's double over the head of right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr., who didn't get a good read on the ball. Tatis has started 10 games in the outfield since he returned from his latest stint on the injured list because the Padres are trying to limit the wear and tear on his left shoulder.
AJ Pollock, who had a great series offensively and defensively, tripled leading off the fourth when his fly ball glanced off the wrist of diving centre fielder Grisham. He scored on Cody Bellinger's sacrifice fly.
Grisham robbed Pollock of a homer leading off the ninth with a leaping catch against the fence. Pollock robbed Manny Machado of a two-run homer in the series opener Tuesday night.
Dodgers: Activated OF Mookie Betts from the 10-day injured list, and he was 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He missed 16 games with right hip inflammation. Also recalled LHP Darien Nunez and optioned INF Gavin Lux and OF/INF Matt Beaty to triple-A Oklahoma City.
Dodgers: Haven't named a starter for the opener of a three-game home series against Colorado, which is scheduled to start LHP Kyle Freeland (4-6, 4.25 ERA).
Padres: RHP Joe Musgrove (8-8, 3.04 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener of a two-game series at the Los Angeles Angels.