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San Diego Padres make quick work of Dodgers, Carlos Frias, in 11-3 win

Mama said there'd be days like this, she just didn't have to play in them.

The Dodgers had no such luck, the rules requiring nine innings and all -- even when you trail, 8-0, after the first two. Safe to say, starter Carlos Frias did not have a good outing.

The Dodgers tried to put on a good face and sludge through it, finally calling it a day with an 11-3 loss to the Padres on Sunday before what you might tactfully call a subdued Dodger Stadium crowd of 50,182.

Frias had done a marvelous job in his first four starts as one of two rotation fill-ins, carrying a 3-1 record and 2.55 earned-run average into Sunday's little affair. But at no time did Frias resemble that pitcher Sunday. Nails should be hit so hard.

Yangervis Solarte opened the game with a double and then Frias loaded the bases with a pair of walks before Justin Upton hit a grand slam. Liking this four-run inning thing, the Padres did it again in the second. Upton doubled in two more -- giving him six RBIs in the first two innings...

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Despite recent wins, Dodgers still searching for offense

The Dodgers have won two consecutive games, and after what happened in San Francisco, that’s a very good thing, right?

Certainly, but after being shut out for three consecutive games, don’t be lulled into believing the offense is suddenly back in high gear.

The Dodgers scored two runs in each of the past two victories, which ups their total from the past seven games to six. During that seven-game stretch, they’ve hit .186 (40 for 215) and are just two for 39 with runners in scoring position.

Still, Manager Don Mattingly does not seem troubled by the lack of offensive production from a team that a week ago was leading the National League in most every offensive category.

“I’m not really concerned about the offense,” he said. “I’m happy with the at-bats.”

Mattingly said he hadn’t given any thought to a radical lineup change. Starters Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig remain on the disabled list, and catcher Yasmani Grandal is on the seven-day DL with a concussion.

“So I take the same eight guys...

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Trying to solve the unexpected magic of Dodgers' Mike Bolsinger

So I’m probably wondering the same thing you are, if not most everyone in baseball about now:

What in the name of Roy Hobbs is so different about Mike Bolsinger this season?

Last year he went 1-6 with a 5.50 earned-run average with Arizona. The Diamondbacks were so unimpressed they sold him to the Dodgers in the off-season for a couple of bucks and some pine tar.

Now this season in four starts for the Dodgers he is 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA, and Saturday allowed only one hit in eight scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres.

How is this possible? What exactly is so different about Bolsinger in 2015? You could try going to the source, only Bolsinger said:

"I don't know. People have been asking me that, and I don’t know. Something just clicked in my head. I’m locked in. That’s the best way to describe, locked in."

There’s little doubt about that. All this from a guy who never hits 90 mph on the radar gun and relies primarily on a curveball that can make hitters look silly, and leave them...

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Dodgers' Mike Bolsinger keeps the dream going in 2-0 win over Padres

And so it turns out the greatest off-season move by the Dodgers wasn’t that seven-player trade with the Marlins or the five-player deal with the Padres or picking up Howie Kendrick or Jimmy Rollins.

Nope, it should be absolutely clear by now, the best move made by everybody’s favorite Geek Squad was acquiring Mike Bolsinger from the Diamondbacks for … cash. When Bolsinger is picking up his Cy Young award in the winter, the Diamondbacks just may look back on that deal with a tinge of regret.

Right now, the Dodgers could not possibly be happier with the deal, with Bolsinger again “spinning” it like some kind of crossbreed of Sandy Koufax and Bert Blyleven in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory over the Padres on Saturday before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 53,479.

All Bolsinger did was give up a single to San Diego leadoff hitter Yangervis Solarte in the first and then retire 23 consecutive batters. He threw a career-high eight innings and struck out a career-high eight without walking a man.


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Rally monkey, chew on this: Dodgers try the rally banana

The Dodgers had not scored in 35 innings, their longest stretch of zeros in 53 years. Someone had to do something.

Enrique Hernandez decided to grab a banana.

Not to eat. To wave.

This was the fifth inning Friday. The Dodgers scored. Hernandez put down the banana.

Then came the eighth inning. Hernandez picked up the banana and waved it again. The Dodgers scored again. They won, 2-1.

"You can call it coincidence," he said, "or you can call it a rally banana."

The Dodgers' ebullient utility player took to Twitter on Saturday, encouraging fans thus: "Hey guys, make sure to bring your # RallyBanana to the game tonight!!"

The bubble machine of last summer -- the soap bubbles dispensed in the dugout to celebrate home runs  -- has vanished. Its time simply passed.

"Nothing really caused the demise of that," Manager Don Mattingly said.

In 2000, a guy joking around in the Angels' video room started the rally monkey craze. The Angels won the World Series two years later, turning the Rally Monkey...

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Dodgers put Yasmani Grandal on disabled list, call up Austin Barnes

The Dodgers put catcher Yasmani Grandal on the seven-day disabled list Saturday and promoted catcher Austin Barnes from triple-A Oklahoma City.

The seven-day disabled list is limited to players with concussion symptoms. Grandal was hit in the head twice while catching in Friday's game, on the side of the head on a back swing in the third inning and on the mask by a foul ball in the fourth inning. Grandal left after the fourth inning.

Barnes, 25, will make his major league debut when he first appears for the Dodgers, though veteran A.J. Ellis was in the starting lineup Saturday.

Barnes was one of three depth players acquired from the Miami Marlins in the trade for second baseman Dee Gordon and pitcher Dan Haren. The other two, reliever Chris Hatcher and utility man Enrique Hernandez, also are on the Dodgers' major league roster.

Barnes batted .290 with three home runs and a .390 on-base percentage in 29 games at triple-A Oklahoma City. He has 14 walks and 13 strikeouts this season, and...

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