The Dodgers could never get up and running against the Padres on Wednesday night. Their lone run came off a sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp in the third inning. That’s it. The Dodgers had a couple of looks at the game including a bases loaded opportunity in the second inning. They continued their season-long struggles with not only left-handed pitching but also hitting with runners in scoring position. The same Eric Stults who was once sold by the Dodgers to the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Japan in 2010, did a great job stymieing the Dodgers’ bats through 5 innings (only 1 run allowed) before the sharp San Diego bullpen took over for another 4 scoreless frames against them.
Dodgers 1 6 3
Padres 4 11 1
WP- Stults (6-13)
LP- Hernandez (7-9)
S- Quackenbush (1)
The Dodger defense was looking more like it once did earlier in the season. Errors by Van Slyke, Arruebarrena and A.J. Ellis didn’t help out the Los Angeles cause one bit, and Scott’s costly error from left field in the second came on the heels of a three-hit night by Carl Crawford who was benched on Wednesday night.
Roberto Hernandez wasn’t exactly sharp after his alter ego Fausto Carmona pitched a great first inning for the Dodgers, but then again it really didn’t matter because the Dodger offense was asleep at the wheel. Hernandez wasn’t even that bad.
The San Diego offense wasn’t comatose by any means. Little Alexei Amarista had two hits and a walk. Smith and Liriano also had two hits each. Heck, even Eric Stults had an RBI single for San Diego.
Bright side: the Dodger bullpen was actually decent tonight. Baez, Wilson and Frias pitched a combined 4 scoreless innings. The Dodgers were just not able to mount a comeback against the Padres, a sad tale played out on the field of Dodger Stadium day in and day out.
Roberto Hernandez sends the Padres down in order on 11 pitches in the top of the first. Seth Smith is annoyed after home plate umpire Mike Everitt calls him out on a check swing to end the inning.
Eric Stults plunks lead-off hitter Darwin Barney in the leg to start things off in the bottom of the first. Yasiel Puig lines a bullet right to Alexei Amarista who doubles up Barney at first. Old friend Stults strikes out Adrian Gonzalez looking.
Jedd Gyorko manages to beat out Justin Turner‘s throw for an infield single to open the second inning. Turner made a great diving stop to prevent an extra base hit, but the first base umpire calls Gyorko safe on the close play. Yasmani Grandal flies out to Scott Van Slyke who is in center, but Hernandez walks Goebbert and Liriano consecutively to load the bases up with one out. The pesky Amarista’s RBI single to center gives the Padres a 1-0 lead. Then Stults lines a base hit to left field where Scott Van Slyke bobbles the ball at least twice, and two runs score on the RBI single and error. 3-0 Padres. Yangervis Solarte grounds into a 3-6-1 double play to mercifully end the three-run inning.
Scott Van Slyke tries to make up for that costly error with a one-out single in the home half of the second. Turner follows with a single to right field, and the red head raises his batting average to .312 on the season. Erisbel Arruebarrena goes down on strikes against Stults. A.J. Ellis draws a walk to load the bases up for slugger Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez predictably strikes out as the Dodgers continue to struggle with the bases loaded.
In the third, Seth Smith and Grandal single off Hernandez, but the right-hander rears back to strike out Jake Goebbert to end the inning.
Yasiel Puig singles off the glove of Amarista with one out in the bottom of the third. Adrian Gonzalez hits a ground-rule double over the right field fence, and the Dodgers are in striking distance with Matt Kemp at bat. Puig comes home on the sacrifice fly off the bat of Matt Kemp. Puig’s rolling slide into home scares the heck out of me, but the Dodgers get on the board.
The Padres tack on another run in the fourth. Rymer Liriano and Amarista hit back-to-back singles to start off the inning. Stults lays down a sacrifice bunt, and Darwin Barney makes a nice play to cover first. Liriano scores on a sacrifice fly by Solarte, and San Diego takes a 4-1 lead. Before the inning ends, Amarista proceeds to steal third base with Abraham Almonte at bat. Almonte ends up grounding out.
Stults sends the Dodgers down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth.
Hernandez allows another single to Smith in the fifth, but he pitches a scoreless frame.
Pinch-hitter Dee Gordon and Darwin Barney both strikeout in the bottom of the fifth. Puig grounds out, and the Dodgers still can’t muster much off the left-handed Stults.
Pedro Baez will take over for Roberto Hernandez in the sixth. Dee Gordon will remain in the game as the second baseman. Baez promptly allows a lead-off single to Goebbert. Liriano flies out. Amarista reaches on an error by Arruebarrena on an attempted force out. Pinch-hitter Tommy Medica flies out to Puig in center. Solarte flies out to end the frame.
Roberto Hernandez pitched 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits with 2 strikeouts and 2 walks on 91 pitches.
Eric Stults pitched 5 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk on 93 pitches.
San Diego will go to their bullpen for the bottom of the sixth. Blake Boyer will face Gonzo, Kemp and SVS. If you guessed they would go down quietly in order… you would be correct. Boyer only needed 10 pitches to do so.
Baez pitches another scoreless inning in the seventh.
Liriano robs a base hit from Arruebarrena in the bottom of the seventh on a great catch in right field. A.J. Ellis grounds into the deathly clutches of the double play.
Brian Wilson is in for the eighth inning out of the Dodger bullpen. Liriano reaches base for the third time on the night with a one-out double against The Beard. A.J. Ellis makes a nice play on a ball in the dirt. He blocks the bad pitch, and then he throws to third to get Liriano. The Padres will challenge the out call at third, but the New York office upholds the call. Wilson walks Amarista, and he has now been on base four times. With Will Venable at bat, Amarista steals second and takes third on a throwing error by A.J. Ellis. Venable flies out to left to end the inning.
plate, Dee Gordon is busy stealing second base. That’s Dee’s 57th stolen base. Gordon moves to third on a groundout by Puig. Gonzo walks. Matt Kemp, representing the tying run, flies out to center. Sigh.
Carlos Frias is the fourth Dodgers pitcher of the night for the ninth inning. Frias pitches a very nice 1-2-3 inning, but can the Dodgers mount a come-from-behind rally in the bottom of the ninth?
Kevin Quackenbush will be asked to get the save for the Padres. Scott Van Slyke singles off the first pitch he sees. Turner flies out to center. Carl Crawford grounds into a force out. A.J. Ellis hits a comebacker off Quackenbush’s foot, and the Dodgers go down without much of a fight.
The Dodgers drop to 71-57. The Giants, winning earlier against the lowly Cubs, gain ground in the standings and trail the Dodgers by just 3 games. Clayton Kershaw will start on Thursday night for the series finale. San Diego will counter with Tyson Ross.