For the second consecutive night, the Dodgers lost to the Padres in walk-off fashion. There was a momentary bubble party in the Dodgers’ dugout after Adrian Gonzalez hit his 19th homerun in the sixth inning, but the Dodgers couldn’t outduel the San Diego bullpen once again. The Padres, led by Alexi Amarista, have really enjoyed playing spoiler to the Dodgers and their goal of clinching the division for the second straight season.
Suddenly the Giants are only 2 1/2 games back. The Giants are flexing their muscles here down the stretch. If the Dodgers don’t play smartly they may find that they will need to fight until the very end. The Dodgers and Giants are still scheduled to clash six more times in September. With things getting to the nitty gritty, it’s really not a great time to clam up offensively or have many bullpen meltdowns.
Dodgers 1 8 0
Padres 2 7 0
WP- Stauffer (6-2)
LP- Wright (4-4)
HR- Gonzalez (19)
Jamey Wright allowed the winning run in the bottom of the tenth, but the Dodgers offense was once again stagnant. They went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and they left 10 men on base.
Ian Kennedy shut down the Dodgers through five innings, and the D-backs squeaked by on one run off Greinke. San Diego put a run on the board in the bottom of the third when Rene Rivera led-off with a double, and Ian Kennedy helped his own cause by hitting a RBI double to center field. That sure showed up the reigning Silver Slugger Zack Greinke.
Matt Kemp struck out twice. Yasiel Puig struck out twice. Crawford, Turner, Gordon and Butera all went down on strikes against Kennedy as well. 10 Dodger hitters struck out. San Diego’s bullpen is excellent, and when put head-to-head against the Dodgers’ bullpen these last two games, SD has come out on top.
In the top of the fifth, with the Padres leading 1-0, Carl Crawford led off with a single to left. CC stole second (his 21st of the year) with Justin Turner at bat. Crawford tagged up and advanced to third base on a sacrifice fly from Turner. Abraham Almonte made a strong throw from right center field, but Crawford just made it there in time. Kennedy reared back to strike out Drew Butera for the second out, and Zack Greinke flied out. Once again, the Dodgers failed to cash in their man who was in scoring position.
Pesky Alexi Amarista got a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth, but Greinke also struck out two in the scoreless frame. Greinke and Kennedy struck out seven batters each through the first five innings.
The Dodgers’ bats finally woke up in the top of the sixth when Adrian Gonzalez tied up the ball game on a solo homerun to right field. I wonder if Gonzo feels nostalgic for the days he played in his hometown of San Diego? Bubbles floated in the dugout as the Dodgers see a chance to turn around the momentum of this series. Yasiel Puig hit a deep fly ball to center field after Kennedy walked Kemp, but Almonte catches it feet away from the wall.
The Dodgers failed to score with runners in scoring position again in the top of the sixth. Justin Turner and Zack Greinke singled, but Dee Gordon struck out against Kennedy to sizzle out the scoring opportunity.
Ian Kennedy pitched 7 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits with 8 strikeouts and 3 walks on 106 pitches.
Nick Vincent picked up where Kennedy left off. The Dodgers once again failed to score with runners in scoring position. They strand Kemp and Puig who both singled in the top of the eighth. Puig finally collected a hit after going 0-for-22 during a bad slump.
Rene Rivera came up with his second double of the game to start off the home half of the eighth. Hanley Ramirez made a great play to fool Rivera, and Butera’s throw to second was totally in synch with Hanley’s slick moves to pick him off!
Zack Greinke pitched 8 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks on 104 pitches.
Drew Butera singled in the ninth of Dale Thayer, but they couldn’t do anything more.
J.P. Howell immediately allowed a lead-off single to Almonte in the bottom of the ninth. Howell got himself into a lot of trouble. He walked Seth Smith. After going 3-0 to Yasmani Grandal and nearly loading the bases up, Grandal hit a blazing liner right at Howell. J.P. snagged the liner and then calmly turned to double up Almonte at second base! That was a very lucky line drive. Don Mattingly chose to bring in Brian Wilson to get the last out in the ninth and send it to the tenth inning for the second night in a row. Jedd Gyorko flied out to Crawford in left field, and I swallowed the lump in my throat.
Matt Kemp hit a ball off the left field wall in the top of the tenth off Tim Stauffer, and I thought it was gone. Matt’s 30th double on the season was a monster. Bud Black got fired up on a check swing by Yasiel Puig, and he was ejected by first base umpire Clint Fagan. The tizzy fit by Black wasn’t even needed, since Puig proceeded to strike out swinging anyhow.
Jamey Wright got sketchy in the tenth, and the Padres walk-off for the second time in as many nights. Will Venable led off with a single which began the doomed inning badly from the start. Wright struck out pinch-hitter Rymer Liriano for the first out. Of course the pesky Alexi Amarista singled in the winning run with a base hit to center field. Will Venable brought in the winning run as the Padres mobbed each other at home plate…again.
Are the Dodgers going to be able to fend off the sweep at Petco Park on Sunday?
The Dodgers drop to 76-60 on the season. The Giants knocked off the Brewers so they are now within 2 1/2 games of the Dodgers in the West. The series will conclude Sunday afternoon in San Diego as Hyun-jin Ryu will be activated from the disabled list. Old friend Eric Stults will start for San Diego.