Dodgers-Padres: Comeback Kids Fall Just Short in 4-3 Loss

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Dodgers-Padres: Comeback Kids Fall Just Short in 4-3 Loss

The comeback kids were at it again in Chavez Ravine on Sunday night, but fell just short as they lost 4-3 to the last-place San Diego Padres.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were down one run in the ninth inning, and Rafael Furcal worked a one-out walk against the Padres’ (61-77) closer Heath Bell to bring the tying run, Jim Thome, to the plate.

But Thome flied out with a runner on first, and Andre Ethier followed with a lazy fly ball of his own to close the door on the first-place Dodgers (81-57).

The loss shrunk their lead in the NL West to three-and-a-half games, as the Colorado Rockies completed a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 13-5 win earlier in the afternoon.

Hiroki Kuroda returned to the mound for the first time since being drilled with a Rusty Ryal line drive on Aug. 15.

Kuroda worked five innings and was touched up for four runs, three earned, on just four hits. He uncharacteristically walked three batters, perhaps a sign of his time away from the game.

Los Angeles was forced to play from behind as the Padres jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind three RBI from Kevin Kouzmanoff.

In the fourth inning, Russell Martin drove a two-out RBI single into center field to score Manny Ramirez, who singled earlier in the frame.

After an Adrian Gonzalez home run to left field in the fifth, which turned out to be the deciding run in the game, the Boys in Blue trailed 4-1.

The Dodgers would then rally in the seventh inning for two runs.

Mark Loretta reached on an error and Furcal slapped a single to right field to mount runners at first and second with just one out.

After a Juan Pierre fly out, Ethier doubled home two runs to bring the Blue Crew back in the game and slim the margin to 4-3.

The bullpen worked another spectacular night, with four pitchers shouldering the load and tossing four scoreless innings to allow the offense a chance to come from behind.

Yet the Dodgers, who have 35 comeback wins this season, couldn’t muster a timely hit in the ninth with their key hitters at the plate.

The club went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base, squandering too many opportunities to earn the victory, as a lack of clutch hitting continued to plague the once-potent Dodgers’ offense.

Tonight marked the 26th consecutive game the pitching staff has allowed five runs or fewer, but Los Angeles has gone just 14-12 in that span. In fact, with an ERA of 2.65, they have the best mark in the Majors since Aug. 10, but the offense has been no help recently.

A telling sign for victory with the Dodgers has been breaking the three-run barrier; they failed to do so tonight, and they are now just 17-38 when scoring three runs or fewer. 

Now, with a dwindling lead in the division and having lost two out of three to the Friars, they head to the desert to take on Arizona for a three-game set before squaring off with the San Francisco Giants in the Bay Area next weekend.

 

 

 

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WP: Stauffer (4-6)

LP: Kuroda (5-6)

SV: Bell (35)

 

Notes From Sunday night

Lots of Hits, But Nothing to Show

The Dodgers outhit the Padres eight to six, but still lost the game. The team is now 67-18 when recording more hits than their opponent. 

 

PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers 

 

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