Dodgers make it interesting but slip past Padres, 2-1

Dodgers make it interesting but slip past Padres, 2-1
Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu delivers a pitch during Sunday's game against the San Diego Padres. (Don Boomer / Associated Press)

It's a dangerous life the Dodgers are leading.

In all three games in San Diego over the weekend, they jumped out to an early lead. And then played like they were all satisfied, failing to truly extend their lead.


Which just allowed a Padres team – which had seen Executive Vice President and General Manager Josh Byrnes fired before the game and was still suffering from the recent death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn -- to hang around and make life hazardous.

The Dodgers were at it again Sunday at Petco Park, scoring a pair of early runs and then all but shutting the offense down, again relying on strong starting pitching to hang on for a tense 2-1 victory.

This time it was up to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu to make single runs the Dodgers scored against Eric Stults in the first and second innings stand up.

Ryu held the Padres hitless through the opening three innings and scoreless through the first five.

Chris Denorfia led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and scored on a pair of groundouts. For the 32-44 Padres, that amounted to an offensive explosion.

The Dodgers had seen their lack of killer instinct come back to haunt them Friday when they lost in the bottom of the ninth and then again Saturday when they hung on for a two-run win.

This time they scored once in the first when Hanley Ramirez singled, stole second, took third on a Stults wild pitch and scored on an Adrian Gonzalez groundout, and then added one more in the second after Scott Van Slyke singled and A.J. Ellis walked, Ryu's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up and Dee Gordon singled. Ellis also tried to score on the Gordon hit but was thrown out at the plate by Denorfia.

And the Dodgers called it an offensive afternoon. They managed only three more hits over the final seven innings.

Ryu (9-3) made it work for his six innings, allowing the one run on four hits and a walk. He struck out two and lowered his earned-run average to 3.06. Since coming off the disabled list May 21 with a sore shoulder, Ryu has won six of seven starts.

Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 22nd save. It was the first time this season he pitched in three consecutive games. J.P. Howell and Brian Wilson kept the Padres scoreless in the seventh and eighth.

It was a year ago Sunday the Dodgers started their historic 42-8 run to take control of the National League West. This current Dodgers team has not been playing nearly as poorly as last year's – they have won seven of their last nine – but neither have they indicated they will undergo the kind of offensive turnaround they had in 2013.

Sunday's victory kept them four games back of the division-leading San Francisco Giants.