Dodgers still can't find themselves at home in 4-1 loss to Padres

Dodgers still can't find themselves at home in 4-1 loss to Padres
Dodgers starter Roberto Hernandez delivers a pitch during the first inning of the team's 4-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Aug. 20. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Frustration, thy name is Dodgers. It simply has to be, right?

On the road, they pummel people. They're all frisky and full of life. At home, they roll over like they want their bellies rubbed. Maybe they should stay in a hotel at home.


It’s a confusing scenario, one for which the Dodgers have no explanation. Kind of like their 4-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.

The loss evened the Dodgers' home record at 31-31. Meanwhile, away from Dodger Stadium, they are a major-league best 40-26.

This is the opposite of the way things are supposed to be, something ex-Dodger Eric Stults must have taken to heart before starting Wednesday for the Padres.

The Dodgers had no room for Stults in 2012 and sold him in the spring to the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Japanese League. He battled his way back to the majors and for the last three years has pitched for the Padres.

Which the Dodgers found just fine. Stults was 1-4 against them in six previous career starts.

But he did well enough this time to raise his season record to 6-13, out-pitching Roberto Hernandez (7-9) in the process.

Stults went only five labored innings, but the Dodgers could manage only one run in that stretch. Stults gave up the run on four hits and a walk, striking out five.

Yasiel Puig singled, took third on an Adrian Gonzalez double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp in the third for the Dodgers' lone run.

By then, though, the Dodgers were already in the nightly hole. For the second consecutive game, the Padres jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

This time they scored three runs in the third after loading the bases on an infield hit and a pair of walks. A single by Alexi Amarista scored one. Stults lifted a fly to shallow left that nonetheless was enough to sacrifice in a second run. And when Scott Van Slyke twice bobbled the ball for an error, the Padres scored a third time.

San Diego scored a final run in the fourth on two singles and a sacrifice fly.

Hernandez suffered his worst outing as a Dodger. After going six innings in each of his first two starts after being acquired from the Phillies on Aug. 7, he struggled through five Wednesday.

Hernandez allowed the four runs on eight hits and a pair of walks. It took him 91 pitches to get through five innings.

The Dodgers lost 1½ games to the Giants in the standings Wednesday, despite neither playing a double-header. When it was ruled the Giants-Cubs game rained out after 4 1/2 innings Tuesday would be continued Thursday, the Dodgers lost a half-game in the standings even before their loss to the Padres.

The Dodgers’ lead in the National League West over the Giants is now three games.