Rapid Reaction: Padres 6, Dodgers 5
June, 20, 2014
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers can't quite get over the hump.
Just when they were about to win their fourth consecutive game for the first time all season, closer Kenley Jansen gave up a couple of RBI doubles and blew a two-run save in the ninth inning. L.A. lost 6-5 to the San Diego Padres after Everth Cabrera hit a deep fly ball to right field to drive in the winning run.
The Dodgers missed another chance to eat into the San Francisco Giants' rapidly diminishing lead. They remain four games back after being behind 8 1/2 back eight days ago.
How it happened: Dan Haren pitched a solid game once again, although long fly balls continued to torment him. Seth Smith homered twice off Haren, who now has given up 12 home runs in his last eight starts. Haren seemed to have some harsh words for umpire Paul Schrieber in the sixth inning shortly before he was removed. Otherwise, Haren kept the Dodgers in the game while L.A.’s hitters harried another veteran starter, Ian Kennedy, for five runs.
The biggest hit was Yasiel Puig’s well-placed hard hopper that glanced off third baseman Alexi Amarista’s glove and carried into shallow left field to bring in a couple of runs. Puig took third on Amarista’s throwing error and scored on Adrian Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly.
Everything fell apart for the Dodgers in the ninth, however. San Diego’s big hits were doubles by pinch hitter Carlos Quentin and Will Venable.
Hits: Dee Gordon has been erratic with his bat lately. He went 4-for-4 Monday, but was otherwise 2-for-20 on the Dodgers’ last homestand. It’s still a delight to watch him hit one in the gap. On Friday, he pulled Kennedy’s seventh pitch of the game into the gap in right-center and just kept running. The relay throw hit Gordon as he slid into third, allowing him to score easily. It was the second time this week he had circled the bases on a triple-and-error combination. Gordon puts pressure on defenses like few players in the game. He also stole his 38th base in the second inning.
Misses: The Dodgers’ outfield situation has stabilized considerably with Carl Crawford on the disabled list. Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke have generally provided a solid platoon in center field, playing better defense than anyone would have predicted in spring training. Lately, however, Ethier’s contributions at the plate have been few and far between. He went 0-for-4 Friday and is batting .208 since the day he hit his last home run on May 27.
Stat of the game: Smith has played in four games against the Dodgers this season and hit four home runs against them.
Up next: The series continues in San Diego on Saturday night at 7:10 PT, with Josh Beckett (4-4, 2.49 ERA) opposing Tyson Ross (6-6, 3.27).