Dodgers' Lux: Grounder goes through Jake Cronenworth's glove to key L.A.'s win over Padres


Was it AI? A magic trick? No, just literally the toughest break imaginable for the San Diego Padres.

A ground ball by the Dodgers’ Gavin Lux disappeared into Jake Cronenworth’s first baseman’s mitt … and came out the other side, trickling into right field while Teoscar Hernández scored the go-ahead run.

A potential inning-ending double play instead became an error, the pivotal at-bat in a four-run eighth inning that keyed the Dodgers’ 5-2 victory in the regular-season opener at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul.

Cronenworth’s mitt broke, the webbing unfathomably untied. He stared at it, he blinked, he shook his head, trying to grasp the betrayal. Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani followed with RBI singles and that was that.

“It sucks,” Cronenworth said. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stated the obvious: “That was a fortunate break for us. You’ve got to take them when you get them.”

Players figuratively have a hole in their glove quite often during spring training, and this game more closely resembled the Cactus League than the National League.

The Padres used eight pitchers, and they issued nine walks while committing four pitch-clock violations.

The Dodgers also were sloppy. They went 0 for 14 with runners on base until the RBI singles in the eighth inning. Starter Tyler Glasnow spiked numerous curveballs and botched a defensive play on a bunt. Ohtani failed to retouch second base while returning to first on a deep flyout by Freddie Freeman.

Plate umpire Lance Barksdale wasn’t exactly in midseason form either. His strike zone was erratic and in the first inning was guilty of umpire interference when Padres catcher Luis Campusano elbowed him in the mask while trying to throw out Betts stealing second.

“It’s opening day, obviously just getting back into the flow of things,” said Dodgers closer Evan Phillips, who retired the Padres in order in the ninth for a save.

The teams will play again Thursday at 3 a.m. PT before returning to exhibition action at home. Opening day for the other 28 MLB teams is March 28.



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