Teoscar Hernandez and James Paxton combine to get Dodgers back on winning track – Orange County Register

SAN DIEGO — They were the other ones, co-stars if not background extras in the blockbuster story that was the Dodgers’ offseason.

The Dodgers’ signings of Teoscar Hernandez and James Paxton drew much smaller headlines – and impacted the payroll far less – than the acquisitions of Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

But Hernandez and Paxton have hit their marks and nailed their lines. Hernandez’s grand slam opened up a tight game and Paxton delivered six scoreless innings in his strongest start of the season as the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 5-0 Saturday night in front of the largest crowd in Petco Park history (46,701).

The win continued the Dodgers’ surge. They have now won 15 of their past 18 games, outscoring their opponents 106-33 during this stretch.

Even as injuries drained the bullpen, the Dodgers’ pitching has been outstanding during the dominant 18-game run. They haven’t given up more than four runs in any of the games, the longest such streak in Dodgers’ history, and have a 1.66 ERA over that time.

“It’s just fun to watch for me,” Paxton said. “We have very talented pitchers, obviously. We’re just attacking guys. We’re going out there attacking guys, throwing strikes and we’ve got guys with good stuff so sometimes that’s going to equal good outings.”

Paxton had his best as a Dodgers, holding the Padres to four hits in his six innings. An even more positive sign from him – he didn’t walk a batter. Paxton came into the game tied for the major-league lead in walks (24) with five or more in three of his six starts, an uncharacteristic command issue that had frustrated Paxton and sent him searching for answers between starts.

“Zero walks tonight felt really good after the eight walks,” Paxton said, referring to his first start against the Padres in April. “Just finding that rhythm in the backside of my delivery really helped keep me on line and stay in the strike zone.

“I was getting really choppy in the backside of my delivery. My arm – I don’t know even how to explain it – was just like bending instead of being long and kind of fluid on my backside. That really helped me keep my energy and rhythm going towards the plate.”

Paxton’s cut fastball has been missing from his arsenal while he struggled to smooth out his command (he threw just five Saturday). But he has been able to lean on his curveball. He got six swings-and-misses with it against the Padres.

“That wasn’t the intent,” Paxton said. “That’s kind of the way it’s been, I think, because I haven’t found the cutter quite yet. It’s been a bit more heavy curveball. We went to the changeup last game. Didn’t use it as much today because the curveball was better so I didn’t really need it as much. That was my slow pitch tonight. But I think once the cutter comes around, that’ll be helpful.”

Without Paxton causing trouble for himself, the Padres couldn’t do it on their own. They only threatened Paxton once. Donovan Solano led off the fifth inning with a double. But Paxton stranded him there.

#Teoscar #Hernandez #James #Paxton #combine #Dodgers #winning #track #Orange #County #Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *