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Turner, Dodgers start fast, hold off Padres in NLDS opener

LOS ANGELES — – The well-recovered Los Angeles Dodgers snapped early to a big lead and held on against the upstart San Diego Padres.

Trea Turner hit a homer and doubled as the Dodgers won 5-3 in Tuesday night’s NL Division Series opener.

Behind 17-game winner Julio Urías, the Dodgers led 5-0 after three innings and appeared to be on course for another Padres blowout.

Los Angeles dominated the regular season by a 14-5 lead, beating San Diego 109-47. The Dodgers conquered the NL West with 111 wins and the Padres finished second, 22 games back.

“We’ve seen a lot of them lately, especially in the last month or so,” Turner said. “Somehow I knew what to expect. I still have to perform and get the results but I think we were just being ourselves and not giving anything away.”

With Sandy Koufax watching from the owners’ box, Urías gave up the first eight batsmen he faced until Austin Nola doubled in the third with two outs.

“We have to give a lot of credit to our offense,” Urías said through a translator. “They did a good job in the fight, making those runs early and putting us in a good position to win.”

Chris Martin, who had two saves this season, gave up a singles in the ninth when the Padres had the potential tie on the plate. Craig Kimbrel was dropped from the Dodgers’ roster for this best-of-five match.

Game 2 takes place at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night before the series moves south to San Diego.

“No morale wins, but the last part of the game was better than the first part for us,” said Padres manager Bob Melvin.

“We felt like we had a chance to win this game in the last few innings,” he said. “I think everyone’s pretty eager to get out of here.”

The Padres earned a win over the Mets in New York in the deciding Game 3 of the Wildcard Series on Sunday night.

“We have to get out of here and keep competing like we’ve done all year,” said Manny Machado, who was 1 for 4 with one strikeout.

The Dodgers, who had five days off after the bye, showed no sign of rust.

In the first, Turner hit a 419-foot shot into the pavilion at left field for his second homer in his postseason career and first as a Dodger. Two batters later, Will Smith doubled and took a 2-0 lead on Max Muncy’s two-out single.

The Dodgers batted around in the third and pinned three more runs.

Turner doubled the lead and after Freddie Freeman flew out, Smith stepped in and doubled to deep left center, almost in the same place Turner’s ball landed. Gavin Lux doubled with two outs into the right corner, driving in Smith and chasing Mike Clevinger.

Steven Wilson walked in and promptly accompanied Trayce Thompson to load the bases.

Cody Bellinger, who choked, was initially believed to have been hit by a pitch and captured first base as Muncy was pushed in. But on video review, it seemed like the ball hit the racquet’s pommel. Bellinger was recalled to the plate and Muncy returned to third place.

Bellinger was then initially safe from a mistake by first baseman Wil Myers and scored for Muncy. The ball caught the heel of Myers’ glove and he missed on the pickup, leaving no chance of playing against the speedy Bellinger.

The Dodgers’ offense — baseball’s highest scoring this season — fell silent after the third. Their lone baserunner was Freeman, who left. Mookie Betts and Freeman were a combined 0 for 7 with two strikeouts.

The Dodgers hadn’t played a must-win game since mid-June before running away with the division. But in the fifth they ran into trouble.

Then the Padres finally reached Urías and closed 5-3 after he gave up three straight goals.

Myers led to the left with a solo shot in the opposite field. Trent Grisham had an RBI grounder that scored Jake Cronenworth who singled. Nola’s sacrificial fly scored for Ha-Seong Kim, who doubled.

San Diego threatened Evan Phillips again in the sixth, but the defense saved him.

Juan Soto drew a leadoff walk. Heavily booed by the 52,407 crowd, Machado followed up with an infield trickler that the Dodgers hoped would roll a foul. It didn’t and went for a single.

After pinch-hitter Josh Bell slammed, Myers came on as a potential starting gun.

Myers landed in a doubles game at the inning end started by second baseman Gavin Lux. He turned on Turner, and the shortstop double-clutched before firing first to catch Myers.

“It’s a tough question,” Turner said. “He has to do that 360. I’m coming over the pocket so he needs to make a good throw to me too. A lot has to be right to make this move.”

Urías allowed three runs and four hits in five innings. The left-hander hit six and walked none.

Clevinger gave up five runs — four earned — and six hits in 2 2/3 innings. The right-hander hit three and walked two.

OLD BUDDY

Turner and Soto greeted each other just before the game. They were teammates at the Washington Nationals until Turner joined the Dodgers last season and Soto joined the Padres at this year’s trade deadline.

Soto came to Dodger Stadium in the postseason last year to cheer on Turner.

“A mutual respect that we have for one another,” Turner said. “We are boys. I know he wants to hit us just like I want to hit her. I’ll probably speak to him after the series is over and during the off-season.”

STRANGE WEATHER

The wind picked up for the last two innings and the midfield flags were flying straight out. After the final it started raining, although it didn’t last long. The Grounds crew had the rare opportunity to unroll the tarp and cover the infield.

“It was definitely different,” Turner said. “We haven’t really had that all year.”

MANAGEMENT MOVE

Kimbrel had already been demoted from his ninth-inning role two weeks ago after struggling for much of the season as the replacement for Kenley Jansen, who left as a free agent last winter.

NEXT

RH Yu Darvish, who had a 3.10 ERA in the regular season, starts Game 2 for the Padres. LH Clayton Kershaw, three-time Cy Young Award winner, chooses the Dodgers.

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