The Dodgers fell in love with their recent formula of winning low-scoring shutouts, and it looked for a while like a third-inning RBI single by Jamey Carroll would hold up. But a trio of two-run rallies by the Padres ended the Dodgers fun and San Diego took the second game of the series 6-1.
Hiroki Kuroda was cruising through five scoreless innings, having thrown just 63 pitches. He had retired 10 straight batters at that point, and a number of scoreless streaks were in play:
15 straight innings by Kuroda
30 straight innings by Dodger pitchers
31 straight innings by Dodger pitchers at Petco Park
However, in the sixth inning, all those streaks came to an end, as the Padres used two singles, two walks, and a sacrifice fly to pull ahead 2-1. They added two more runs in the seventh inning off Jeff Weaver (well, one was inherited by Weaver), but the good news is that Jack Taschner finally recorded an out as a Dodger, facing his sixth batter since joining the club. Travis Schlichting allowed the final two runs in the eighth.
The final 19 Dodgers were retired tonight by Padres pitchers. The Dodgers have scored 28 runs in 13 games since the All-Star break, an average of 2.15 per game. Justin Miller, who was designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A Albuquerque, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Vicente Padilla faces Mat Latos in tomorrow’s series finale, a 3:35 p.m. start. Scott Podsednik is expected to be in San Diego tomorrow.
Los Angeles goes for its first four-game winning streak in almost two months tonight, when it tries to inch closer to National League West-leading San Diego in the second contest of a three-game set at Petco Park.
The Dodgers came into last night's game with the Padres six games back in the race for the division crown, but shaved one off that deficit with a 2-0 victory.
Chad Billingsley allowed just three hits and two walks over six innings, but was replaced by a pinch-hitting Andre Ethier during the seventh because it was a scoreless game. The move paid off for Los Angeles manager Joe Torre, as Ethier hit a two-run single with the bases loaded and two outs despite not starting the game due to illness.
That hit made Billingsley a winner, and Hong-Chih Kuo followed with two scoreless innings of relief before Jonathan Broxton recorded his 20th save of the season.
"I didn't want [Billingsley] starting the game and coming out in the fifth inning," Torre said. "That couldn't have been more of a perfect spot, when they had to pitch to him."
Ethier's hit scored both Blake DeWitt and Garret Anderson for the Dodgers, who have won five of six and aim for their first four-game winning streak since June 6-9.
Jon Garland took the loss after giving up two runs over 6 2/3 innings. Yorvit Torrealba had a pair of hits for the Padres, who failed to score in the fourth inning despite loading the bases with nobody out.
"Obviously we'd like to push runs across every night, but sometimes it doesn't go your way," Padres second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. said. "We just have to come back and be ready to play [Wednesday] night."
The Padres had a three-game winning streak end while the second-place San Francisco Giants pulled within 2 1/2 games of the division's top spot.
San Diego will look to rebound tonight behind Clayton Richard, who had won three consecutive decisions prior to a setback to the Braves on Thursday. The 26-year-old lefty allowed four runs, all but one earned, on nine hits and two walks over six innings, falling to 7-5 with a 3.57 earned run average on the season.
Richard has made two starts in his career versus the Dodgers, going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA.
Hiroki Kuroda counters for the Dodgers after halting a three-start losing streak on Thursday. Facing the Mets, the 35-year-old Japanese import yielded five hits and a walk over eight scoreless innings to improve to 8-8 with a 3.48 ERA this year. However, Kuroda does have a 7.13 ERA over his last four outings.
The right-hander is 4-2 with a 4.91 ERA in his career versus the Padres.
Los Angeles has won five of six over the Padres this year, including a three- game sweep at Petco Park from May 14-16.