LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers had a bad day Wednesday. Even before they lost a game in the standings to the San Francisco Giants by dropping a 4-1 decision to the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, they found out the Giants won their appeal of Tuesday's rainout.
The Dodgers' lead is now three games, and the Giants have a shot at making up another 1½ games on Thursday when they finish their suspended game and polish off their series at Wrigley Field.
How it happened: Roberto Hernandez, like Kevin Correia the night before, took a small step back after a promising start to his Dodgers tenure. Hernandez was erratic, giving up eight hits over five innings, and the Dodgers fell in an early hole for the third straight game. They were behind 3-0 by the time they batted in the second inning. Scott Van Slyke bobbled a ground ball single, allowing one of those runs to score. The Dodgers made headway against soft-tossing lefty Eric Stults (6-13) but couldn't come up with the key hit and then were faced with the difficult task of rallying against San Diego's solid bullpen.
Hits: There wasn't a lot to celebrate after another listless start by a Dodgers pitcher, but for a team that's always on the lookout for bullpen pieces, there was a bit of good news. Pedro Baez might be a better solution than any of the pitchers the Dodgers could acquire who passed through waivers. He pitched two more scoreless innings, touching 98 mph, and has now thrown seven scoreless innings since the Dodgers brought him back from Triple-A. It looks as if he might stay put this time.
Misses: People tend to think the Dodgers have more power than they do. The reality is they entered Wednesday's game 12th in the National League in home runs. Granted, most of their middle-of-the-order bats have excellent gap power, but they have only three healthy players with double-digit home run totals. It's fair to say the lack of long balls has been a major disappointment. Only three pitchers in the league had given up more home runs than Stults coming into the game, but the Dodgers' power stayed dormant.
Stat of the game: Tuesday night, Dodgers prospect Jose De Leon struck out 14 batters in a Class-A game for Great Lakes. The total broke the franchise record, which was previously held by some guy named Clayton Kershaw, who had 12 in a 2007 game.
Up next: The Dodgers haven't won a home series since July 29-31, so they'd like to take Thursday's game to win this one. The good news is they'll line up behind Kershaw (14-3, 1.86 ERA) Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. The bad news is they'll be facing San Diego's best starter, Tyson Ross (11-11, 2.70).