Darvish, Machado power Padres

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Yu Darvish and Manny Machado returned to haunt their former club as the San Diego Padres snatched a series-leveling 5-3 road victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Major League Baseball playoffs on Wednesday.

The Padres’ Japanese ace Darvish — who left the Dodgers after being criticized by Los Angeles fans following the team’s 2017 World Series defeat — battled through five innings to secure the win at Dodger Stadium.

Machado, meanwhile, a member of the Dodgers’ beaten 2018 World Series team, crushed a first inning home run off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to set the Padres on the way to a victory that leaves the best-of-five National League Division Series finely balanced heading into games 3 and 4 in San Diego.

Machado — booed relentlessly by Dodgers fans throughout — also drove in a double to score Kim Ha-seong in the top of the third to tie the game at 2-2 after Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy had homered to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead.

The Padres’ Jake Cronenworth ground out to put San Diego 3-2 up soon after Machado’s double only for Los Angeles to grab their third homer of the night when Trea Turner smashed a fly ball to left field.
The crucial passage of play came in the sixth inning when Jurickson Profar punished a costly fielding error by Turner to drive in a run for Cronenworth and a 4-3 lead that the Padres never relinquished.

San Diego reliever Robert Suarez brilliantly navigated his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh inning to leave three Dodgers baserunners stranded.

Cronenworth homered off Blake Treinen to give the Friars a 5-3 lead in the top of the eighth as the Padres bullpen held firm to close out the win.

In Atlanta, the reigning World Series champion Braves secured a series-leveling 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies after a sixth inning rally.

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