SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers might have a soft schedule between now and the end of the regular season, but Friday night was a strong reminder that they can’t just throw their gloves on the field and expect to win.
The Dodgers squeezed just two runs out of 11 hits and lost 3-2 to the punchless San Diego Padres in 12 innings at Petco Park. Los Angeles tied it in the eighth on Hanley Ramirez’s home run but couldn’t score in the ninth after loading the bases.
The Padres didn’t score after the fourth inning until Yasmani Grandal’s two-out walk-off single off Kevin Correia in the 12th. The Dodgers nearly survived the inning after getting a forceout at the plate while employing a bizarre shift with four infielders -- including outfielder Andre Ethier -- on the right side of the infield.
How it happened: The Dodgers have never fared well against Andrew Cashner, who came into the game with a 1.35 ERA against them (but no wins), and the pattern continued. Cashner struck out six batters in the first three innings and, in his third start back from a DL stint for shoulder soreness, pretty much shut down the Dodgers over six innings. Dan Haren pitched well for L.A., but run support continues to be a problem when he pitches. The Dodgers have scored three runs or fewer when Haren was in the game during his last five starts.
The Padres have a strong bullpen, and the Dodgers matched them to send the game spinning into extra innings.
Hits: This has been a good time for Haren to return to his April form. Three weeks ago, it looked like Haren was in danger of losing his spot in the rotation. Instead, the veteran has turned his season around while the Dodgers are dealing with injuries elsewhere in their staff. Haren allowed two runs, one of which was unearned, in six innings and has a 2.54 ERA in his last five starts. Haren could have helped the team (and himself) a bit more if he could have handled the bat more adeptly in recent starts. He missed a squeeze bunt attempt in his previous start. On Friday, he struck out to leave Justin Turner at third with one out in the fifth; then again, it was a 97 mph Andrew Cashner fastball that got by him.
Misses: Dee Gordon had a rough evening. He made a wildly errant throw to second base that led to the Padres’ first run and went 0-for-6 at the plate. His ninth-inning at-bat was particularly punishing. The Padres’ reliever, Kevin Quackenbush, had apparently lost his command, walking A.J. Ellis and pinch hitter Scott Van Slyke to load the bases before Gordon swung at a 1-0 pitch and grounded feebly to second base. The Dodgers are batting .169 with the bases loaded this season, worst in the majors.
Stat of the game: Turner had his sixth multihit game in his last eight games. Since May 23, Turner leads the majors in hitting at .380 (minimum of 175 plate appearances).