Dodgers are just what cures Padres, losing 4-2 as San Diego snaps 10-game losing streak
The poor little San Diego Padres. They had lost 10 consecutive games. Had lost any semblance of confidence. Lost all but one game of their division lead.
They were one spooked team. So rattled, if you looked hard, you half expected to see their knees shaking.
Into this valley of fear, stepped the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team so completely mixed up it’s capable of curing what ails any opponent.
The Padres took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning Monday, played nervous and like a team expecting the worst throughout much of the night … and still held on for a 4-2 victory.
The loss left the disappointing Dodgers a .500 club (69-69); it’s the first time they’ve been at the .500 mark since May 12. They fell nine games back of the Padres in National League West.
The Dodgers appeared to have caught a break before the game when Padres ace Mat Latos (13-5, 2.25 earned-run average) came down ill and they had to send out Tim Stauffer as their emergency starter.
Stauffer is a reliever who had appeared in 26 games this season, but started only once on May 9. He was 8-14 with a 5.03 ERA lifetime as a starter.
Yet the Dodgers’ offense right now is such that it can make most any starter can look like a Latos.
Stauffer lasted only four innings, but held the Dodgers to one run on four hits, and left with a 3-1 lead.
The Padres used seven pitchers to pull out the victory. And now Latos is scheduled to pitch Tuesday.
The Dodgers scored their run off Stauffer in the fourth on a James Loney double and Andre Ethier single. It was Ethier’s first RBI in nine games.
The Padres had taken a 1-0 lead against Vicente Padilla when Nick Hundley led off the third with a home run.
After the Dodgers tied it, San Diego came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Following one-out singles by Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Tejada, Padilla walked Chase Headley to load the bases.
Padilla was making his first start since Aug. 15, after going on the disabled list with a bulging disk in his neck. The rest of the fourth, however, did nothing for his health.
The Padres drove in two runs without hitting the ball out of the infield. Will Venable hit a bouncer to Loney at first, who fired to second for one. Venable, however, just beat Rafael Furcal’s throw back to first to avoid the double play as Gonzalez scored.
Hundley then drove a pitch in front of the plate that acted liked it ricocheted off concrete. The ball bounced so high in the air, by the time it finally came down into the glove of Furcal, he had no play. Tejada scored and San Diego had its third run.
Padilla (6-5) lasted four innings, allowing his three runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out five.
Scott Podsednik pulled the Dodgers within one with his first home run as a Dodger, a solo shot off Luke Gregerson in the seventh.
The Padres got it back, however, off lost-looking Jonathan Broxton in the bottom of the inning on a double by Aaron Cunningham, a groundout and David Eckstein's sacrifice fly.
Through the first seven innings, the Dodgers left nine men on base.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Padres reliever Tim Stauffer made an emergency start and lasted four inning Monday night. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel / US Presswire