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Same ol`, same ol` for Hiroki Kuroda -- aside from the win

August 2, 2011 | 10:04 pm

For Hiroki Kuroda, it was like he never left. Oh, wait …

Kuroda, the veteran right-hander who turned down an opportunity to join a contender at the trading deadline, made his first start Tuesday since announcing he would end his season in a Dodger uniform.

And it was just like old times, when he pitched extremely well and the Dodgers offered minimal offensive support.

In his 11 previous starts, he had an excellent 3.12 ERA. Also a 1-9 record. Which had something to do with the Dodgers averaging 1.9 runs per game in those 11 games.

So Tuesday he went out and the Dodgers scored one whole run for him. Hey, and thanks for staying!

Only on this cool summer night in San Diego, he made it hold up. Made an RBI single by Matt Kemp in the fourth inning the difference in a 1-0 victory over the offensively challenged Padres.

Kuroda (7-13) threw one of his finest games of the season, shutting the Padres out in his seven innings on four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. That’s a game the Boston Red Sox would have loved.

As it is, the Dodgers were more than happy to sneak off with the victory against San Diego’s Mat Latos. Like Kuroda, he went seven innings, holding the Dodgers to their one run on six hits.

For reasons unknown, however, Latos (5-11) elected to pitch to the lone batter in the Dodgers’ lineup who is having an outstanding season.

Rookie Dee Gordon led off the fourth with a bunt single, and then advanced to second and third on groundouts. Which brought up Kemp, who only leads the National League in RBI.

Kemp lined the first pitch Latos offered for base hit to score Gordon with his 84th RBI of the season. That’s not even called pitching around him.

Mike MacDougal pitched a scoreless eighth and Javy Guerra completed the shutout, and earned his ninth save with a scoreless ninth.

Kemp, just to keep his night going, also made a terrific diving catch on an Aaron Cunningham drive in the ninth.


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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Hiroki Kuroda delivers a pitch during the Dodgers' 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. Credit: Denis Poroy / Getty Images