Sure, it was just one game. However, Friday night's win by the San Diego Padres over the Los Angeles Dodgers felt like more a postseason win than a victory notched in early May.
With an electric atmosphere at Petco Park, the Padres took the first game of 13 meetings between the southern California rivals with a 5-2 decision on Friday night. The win moved the Padres within a game of the division-leading Dodgers in the NL West and gave a glimpse into what should be an electric set of contests throughout this season.
Who were the San Diego Padres heroes on Friday night? Let's take a look.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Come on, you knew he would lead the list, right? There's no way for him to be anywhere else in this article than at the top of it. With a pair of homers off future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw, El Niño continued a streak of success with the long ball against the L.A. ace.
The homers gave Tatis four on the season in 60 at-bats and helped raise his OPS for the season to .802. He's a key for San Diego's success and him heating up at the start of the series against the Dodgers is a very good sign for the team and his projected stats.
Perhaps lost in all of the celebration around the night Tatis put together was the solid outing from Darvish, who went 6.2 innings and held L.A. to just one earned run on four hits. He surrendered just one walk while striking out six. Those strikeouts came as Darvish mixed his pitches well and kept the Dodgers guessing most of the night.
Darvish has now allowed just one earned run in three of his last four starts (three ER in 19.1 frames during those games).
The right-hander continued his solid run out of the bullpen on Friday night by taking over for Darvish in the seventh and served an effective bridge to Josh Hader for the game's close out. Martinez went 1.1 innings and didn't allow a hit or walk while also logging one strikeout. He was effective, throwing 13 pitches (10 for strikes) to get his work done.
Martinez has now worked four consecutive outings out of the bullpen and has allowed just one earned run in 8.1 innings of relief.