Quick take: Dodgers 9, Padres 7
June, 4, 2013
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- In the first game of Yasiel Puig's career, he started the Los Angeles Dodgers' engine.
On the second day, he was the Dodgers' engine.
Puig, the Cuban émigré who continues to push and shove his way to instant stardom, plowed through the San Diego Padres' pitching in a 9-7 Dodgers win Tuesday night. Puig went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double and five RBIs.
The Dodgers have had some remarkable rookies over the years, but nobody has made a splash exactly like this. Puig became the first Dodger ever to have a multi-home run game within the first two days of his major league debut.
He also showed more of the pure, dangerously explosive energy that has made him so intriguing to the Dodgers since he batted .517 in spring training. A baserunning blunder in the first inning cost them a run. He threw a ball away for an error after missing a cutoff man. He ran so hard on his second home run, he was practically to second base by the time it cleared the wall. It was a line drive.
The Dodgers don't want Puig thinking he has to turn their fortunes around by himself, but for the last two days he's looked more than willing to try.
The Dodgers were trailing 5-2 in the fifth inning when Puig swung at Clayton Richard's first pitch and sent it whistling through the night air and roughly 20 rows deep in the left-center field bleachers for the three-run home run that tied the score. He gave the Dodgers a crucial cushion an inning later when he swung at the second pitch from reliever Tyson Ross and sent it slicing hard to right field and narrowly over the fence for a two-run homer.
The rest of the Dodgers' lineup seemed to respond to Puig's energy. Catcher Tim Federowicz, batting .161 coming in, hit a two-run home run, singled and scored two runs. Luis Cruz, slumping all season, had an RBI double and scored two runs.
Puig's electric evening practically extinguished the other storyline coming in: the Dodgers' first time facing Carlos Quentin since he charged the mound and broke Zack Greinke's collarbone. Nobody threw at Quentin and he didn't look too uncomfortable in the box, going 3-for-5 with a home run.