<
>

3 up, 3 down: Padres 8, Dodgers 4

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers were unable to sweep their first series of the 2012 season, finishing with four hits in an 8-4 loss to the Padres on Sunday afternoon at Petco Park.

But the Dodgers took three of four games in the opening series and head home to face the Pirates during a favorable early schedule.

Dodgers right-hander Aaron Harang struggled against his former team, allowing four runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six, but walked five (one intentional) and gave up seven hits to a Padres team that scored eight runs in the first three games.

The Padres took their first lead of the four-game series in the first inning after a hit batter, stolen base, walk and Jesus Guzman’s RBI single off Harang. San Diego went ahead 2-0 on Yonder Alonso’s sacrifice fly and took a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning after Andy Parrino’s first big-league home run.

Matt Kemp’s two-run home run cut the Padres’ lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning.

Chase Headley’s grand slam off Scott Elbert in the eighth inning blew open what was a 4-2 game. It was Headley’s first hit in 13 at-bats this season.

Andre Ethier hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth off Ernesto Frieri.

The good

More Kemp. Kemp extended his hitting streak to 16 games, dating back to last season, with a two-run home run to center field off Richard in the sixth inning. It was his second home run of the season.

The ‘pen. Reliever Josh Lindblom, who picked up the win Thursday, was good again -- he threw two shutout innings. Lindblom won one of the final spots on the Dodgers roster out of spring training.

Streaky Uribe. After he was out of the starting lineup on Saturday, Juan Uribe hit sixth on Sunday and recorded the Dodgers’ first hit of the game in the fifth inning. He’s now 1 for 12.

The bad

The offense. The Dodgers had two hits through eight innings. They collected two hits and scored two unearned runs in seven innings against left-hander Clayton Richard, who went 5-9 with a 3.88 ERA during an injury-marred 2011. Uribe broke up Richard’s no hitter with a single in the fifth inning. Before Uribe’s single, Richard had struck out just two and committed two errors. He retired the first nine batters he faced. That streak ended when Richard made a throwing error to first on a grounder by Dee Gordon in the fourth inning, but Richard got out of the inning with a forceout and two fly outs. The Dodgers’ only other hit through the first six innings was Kemp’s home run.

Pitching. Against Harang, the Padres took their first lead in the four-game series. Harang allowed four runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings. After Harang gave up Parrino’s first career home run, a solo shot, in the fourth inning, the right-hander allowed a two-out single and two walks to load the bases. But Harang escaped with a strikeout of Guzman. Harang was pulled in the fifth after allowing two singles and issuing an intentional walk to Parrino. In the four games, the Dodgers got one long outing from a starter -- 8 1/3 innings from Chad Billingsley on Friday. Illness limited Clayton Kershaw to three innings Thursday, and Chris Capuano lasted 4 2/3 innings Saturday. As for the bullpen, Dodgers relievers allowed four runs Sunday.

Defense. After they were errorless in the first three games, the Dodgers committed their first error of the season on shortstop Gordon’s fielding miscue in the third inning. The Padres went on to score an unearned run after a walk and single by John Baker to take a 3-0 lead. Uribe also committed a throwing error in the fifth inning from third base, but the Padres didn’t score.