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Category: Vicente Padilla

With Kershaw in command, Dodgers slip past Diamondbacks, 4-3

Photo: Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch during Friday's 4-3 victory over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / U.S. Presswire Clayton Kershaw, budding ace, was doing his old nervous dance early. Giving up hits, walking guys, throwing too many pitches.

Trouble for the Diamondbacks was, after that he looked like the more recent version of Kershaw, throwing nothing but blanks in his seven innings, as the Dodgers overcame a nervous ninth to take a 4-3 victory over Arizona before an announced crowd of 35,506.

After pitching out of early trouble, Kershaw retired his last 14 consecutive Diamondbacks. He struck out a season-high 11 on the night. He looked exactly like the ace the Dodgers believe he’s becoming.

The victory raised Kershaw’s record to 5-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.75.

Vicente Padilla gave up a pair of ninth-inning runs and was unable to earn the save. With two runners on, the Dodgers went to Kenley Jansen to get the last out, and he earned the first save of his year. Jansen struck out Melvin Mora on a 97-mph fastball for the final out.

It was not exactly an anomaly that Kershaw had to pitch out of trouble in two of the first three innings.

In the first, Chris Young and Mora led off with back-to-back doubles -- and the Diamondbacks failed to score. Mora’s was a blooper in shallow right that had first baseman James Loney and second baseman Aaron Miles run into each other, the ball going off Miles’ glove.

Young, having to hold halfway to second in case the ball was caught, could only advance to third. Kershaw then struck out Xavier Nady and Stephen Drew, and popped up Justin Upton.

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Plans awry, Dodgers bullpen tries to stay one step ahead of chaos

Lkym5cnc So much for the best-laid plans of mice and general managers.

When the Dodgers went into spring training, they were confident their rebuilt bullpen would be a 2011 strength. Had it all mapped out.

Maybe they were crossing their fingers on returning Jonathan Broxton as closer, but he was an All-Star coming off a bad half-season. And if he faltered, there was the nearly unhittable Hong-Chih Kuo.

Behind them, the hard-throwing Ronald Belisario. Vicente Padilla would return as the long man. Kenley Jansen was back off his lights-out rookie campaign.

Then there was new addition Matt Guerrier, and even Blake Hawksworth if needed for the middle innings.

Only six weeks into the season, the bullpen is completely upside down. Almost unrecognizable.

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Hiroki Kuroda leads Dodgers to 2-0 victory over Pirates

Sometimes a team does just enough. It doesn’t have to be jaw-dropping or awe-inspiring, but just enough to slip away with victory.

Which is the way the Dodgers went about it Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, riding a strong outing from Hiroki Kuroda and scratching together a couple of runs in the sixth inning to eke out a 2-0 victory over the Pirates.

Kuroda (4-3) shut the Pirates out in his seven innings, giving up three hits. He struck out eight and walked three.

With Hong-Chih Kuo placed on the disabled list with anxiety disorder prior to the game, the Dodgers picked up scoreless innings from Matt Guerrier in the eighth and Vicente Padilla in the ninth to close it.

For Padilla, the Dodgers’ current closer, it was his third save in as many opportunities.

Kuroda, who had allowed five runs in the 5 2/3 innings of his previous start, was in control from the outset. He was using all his pitches, consistently keeping the Pirates off balance.

He took a no-hitter into the fifth, when, with one out, former Angel Brandon Wood’s broken-bat blooper landed in front of left-fielder Jerry Sands for a single.

The Dodgers weren’t doing much more with Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm. The game was scoreless through five innings, Maholm holding the Dodgers to three singles when he committed one of those cardinal sins for pitchers -- walking the leadoff hitter.

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Ethier, Kershaw help Dodgers stop losing skid with 4-2 victory over Mets

Dodgers1_325 Another day, another hitting streak to begin. One with a little power tossed in.

One day after Andre Ethier’s 30-game hitting streak came to end, he came back Sunday with a pair of hits, including a two-run homer.

With left-hander Clayton Kershaw sharp and Vicente Padilla stepping in to close with a shaky ninth, the Dodgers used it all to escape from New York with a 4-2 victory and avoid a series sweep by the Mets.

Kershaw went 6 2/3 innings, holding the Mets to one run on six hits. He walked three, struck out eight, lowered his earned-run average to 3.12 and looked a lot like an ace stepping up to stop the bleeding.

The Dodgers had lost four consecutive games and six of their previous seven.

Harkening to previous years, Kershaw gave up an early run while initially struggling with his control. He walked a pair in the first, the one run being driven in on a single by Ronny Paulino.

After that, it was all blanks for Kershaw, who threw 111 pitches (72 strikes) and left with two outs in the seventh after surrendering a walk and single. Kenley Jansen, after walking the bases loaded, got Jason Bay to fly out to end the inning.

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Jonathan Broxton finally admits to elbow pain, is shut down -- and there's no closer in waiting [Updated]

Photo: Jonathan Broxton. Credit: Kelvin Kuo / US Presswire On the morning after, he finally ’fessed up.

So now what?

Confirming what many suspected after his odd, labored performance Tuesday night, closer Jonathan Broxton finally admitted to the Dodgers on Wednesday morning that he was hurting.

The Dodgers immediately shut him down and quickly scheduled an MRI for his sore right elbow. The disabled list remains a real possibility, pending the results of the MRI.

How long the elbow has been bothering him was unclear, but Broxton's performance has varied wildly this season. He has converted on seven of eight save opportunities, but seldom in dominating fashion.

He clearly looked like he was hurting Tuesday night against the Cubs, walking two on eight consecutive balls. Manager Don Mattingly removed him at that point, and both runners scored to break up a 1-1 tie and lead Chicago to a 4-1 victory.

After the game, Broxton continued to say he was fine physically.

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Cubs cure all that ails Dodgers offense; Ethier extends streak in 5-2 win

Andre3 If only the Dodgers could play the Chicago Cubs every day. They would go from offensively inept to Murderers' Row meets Big Red Machine.

It’s not as if the Dodgers piled up the hits Monday night, but they made them count, made them add up to a 5-2 victory in front of 30,239, as Andre Ethier extended his career-high hitting streak to 28 games.

In the last 10 games, the Dodgers have played the Cubs four times. In those 10 games, they scored 32 runs. In the other six, they scored 16.

With Clayton Kershaw throwing seven effective innings, Vicente Padilla pitching a perfect eighth and Jonathan Broxton picking up a clean seventh save, the Dodgers made their little offensive outburst hold up.

Kershaw gave up a run in the first inning on three one-out hits, but the Dodgers regained the lead for good with two runs in the second against left-hander James Russell.

Matt Kemp singled and scored on a double off the right-field wall by Juan Uribe. With two outs, Ivan De Jesus Jr. picked up his first career run batted in when he singled down the right-field line, right in front of his father, Cubs coach Ivan De Jesus.

The Dodgers chased Russell with three runs in the fifth inning. With runners at first and second, rookie Jerry Sands doubled to right-center field, driving in both runners.

Sands is hitting only .196, but he’s making his hits count. Of his nine hits, six have been doubles.

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Andre Ethier breaks up routine with game-winning HR in 10th as Dodgers edge Marlins, 5-4; Padilla gets save

Photo: Andre Ethier hits a single during the fourth inning against Florida on Wednesday. Credit: Steve Mitchell / US Presswire Seems hitting streaks can become so boring. Hit after hit. Just so routine.

Andre Ethier figured out a way to spice up his career-high, 24-game hitting streak Wednesday, driving a solo home run off Brian Sanches -- who had had not allowed a run in his first eight appearances -- in the 10th inning to leave the Dodgers with a 5-4 comeback victory.

The game was saved in the 10th not by Jonathan Broxton, who hadn't pitched Tuesday, but by Vicente Padilla. The right-hander retired the side in order to record his first save since 2000 for the Phillies.

Ethier had already extended his hitting streak earlier in the day, the longest streak for April in baseball history, so it wasn’t on the line when he led off the 10th.

But in 2009, Ethier specialized in these dramatic, game-winning hits. He went back to the drama in the 10th with his third home run of the season.

"I was trying to get us out of here," Ethier said in his postgame TV interview. "It’s been a tough road trip."

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Guerrier picks wrong time not to be perfect as Dodgers fall, 10-8, to Cubs

Photo: Dodgers second baseman Aaron Miles chases Chicago's Darwin Barney back to first base during a pickoff in the fourth inning Saturday at Wrigley Field. Barney would be awarded second base after an obstruction call against Dodgers first baseman James Loney. Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki / US Presswire Matt Guerrier wasn’t going to be perfect forever, but he picked a lousy time to prove vulnerable.

In one of those goofy, wind-blown Wrigley Field games, Chicago scored five runs in the eighth inning Saturday to come back and defeat the Dodgers, 10-8, to snap their three-game winning streak.

Guerrier, he of the 0.00 earned-run average after nine games, pitched a perfect seventh inning but struggled with his control in the eighth.

The Cubs jumped on him with four singles and a walk, Blake Hawksworth giving up a final hit to complete the Chicago scoring.

With the wind blowing out and the Dodgers playing less than sharp defense, they still managed to take an 8-5 lead.

The Dodgers hit three home runs -- one each by Casey Blake, Matt Kemp and Rod Barajas -- and collected 11 hits in the losing cause.

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Could Matt Guerrier actually prove a bargain?

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier (55) pitches in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium Monday. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire
At the time, it was a mild head-scratcher.

Three years and $12 million for a 32-year-old middle reliever?

Matt Guerrier had been a very nice reliever the previous six years for the Minnesota Twins. For his career, he had a 3.37 earned-run average, a 1.23 WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) and had appeared in more than 70 games in each of the previous four seasons.

With multiyear deals for middle relievers almost in vogue during the off-season, the Dodgers signed Guerrier.

So far, he has been a serious bargain.

In nine appearances this season, Guerrier has yet to give up a run and has fashioned a remarkable 0.69 WHIP.

Thursday, he pitched two scoreless innings for the Dodgers, picking up his first victory. He has yet to give up a run in 10 2/3 innings as a Dodger.

With Kenley Jansen and Lance Cormier struggling, Ronald Belisario still doing his Venezuelan visa dance, Hong-Chih Kuo on the disabled list, Ramon Troncoso still unrecognizable and Vicente Padilla just about to make his season debut, the Dodgers have badly needed Guerrier to come through.

Just like a reliever worthy of a three-year deal. And so far, he has been better than even expected.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier (55) pitches in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium Monday. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

Dodgers send Troncoso back to Albuquerque in anticipation of activating Padilla

Ramon3 Well, that didn't exactly go according to plan.

Ramon Troncoso has been trying to reinvent himself for almost a year now, but it's just not happening.

Troncoso started the season at triple-A Albuquerque, and looked like he might have had things turned around (1-0, 2.57, 0.71 WHIP) in his first seven innings of work.

When Hong-Chih Kuo went on the disabled list April 16 with a lower back strain, Troncoso got the call even though it meant there would be no left-hander in the Dodgers' bullpen.

Yet in two appearances, Troncoso continued to look like the same right-hander who struggled last season (2-3, 4.33 ERA) and after Thursday’s afternoon game he was returned to Albuquerque.

The move was made in anticipation of adding Vicente Padilla to the roster prior to Friday’s game against the Cubs in Chicago. Padilla is recovering from forearm surgery and slated to be a long reliever.

In the 2 2/3 innings of his two appearances with the Dodgers, Troncoso allowed 12 hits and did not strike out a batter.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake, right, and catcher A.J. Ellis, center, meet with reliever Ramon Troncoso during the ninth inning of Atlanta's 1-0 victory on Tuesday. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / U.S. Presswire

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