No one’s really arguing the Dodgers will not be an improved defensive team this season. And no one is arguing they won’t have nights like Tuesday's, either, when they committed three errors and could have been charged with another.
The result was a predictable loss, the Padres all too happy to take advantage of the Dodgers' miscues for a 7-3 victory before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 40,356.
The game was delayed for 30 minutes because of rain, so maybe the Dodgers should have known something odd was in the works.
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the hero of Monday’s season opener, committed two errors. Catcher Yasmani Grandal made a costly one in the decisive, four-run ninth. And Carl Crawford misplayed a ball into a gift run to get it started.
The poor fielding wasted a fine start by Zack Greinke and let a game that could have gotten the Dodgers off to a 2-0 start leave them with a bitter taste.
The Padres opened the scoring with a run in the first, though in truth, they should not have. Matt Kemp, being greeted far more by boos than cheers in his second game back at Dodger Stadium, singled with two outs and scored when Justin Upton laced a hit in front of Crawford in left.
It should have landed for a single, but Crawford made a late, awkward dive for the ball and it bounced past him and to the wall for what was ruled a triple to score Kemp.
It remained a 1-0 game for a long time and it started to look like Greinke would pitch a terrific game and still get tagged with the loss. Greinke did not allow a hit after the first inning, his only baserunners coming on Rollins' first error and a sixth-inning walk to Kemp.
In his six innings, Greinke gave up the one run on two hits and a walk, striking out four. He threw 94 pitches.
But the Dodgers finally got to right-hander Tyson Ross in the bottom of the sixth, scoring a pair of runs to actually put Greinke in position to win the game. Such teases.
Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez led off with back-to-back doubles to score the tying run, and then Howie Kendrick singled up the middle to score Gonzalez and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
The lead was of the short-lived variety. The Padres tied it back up in the seventh after Yonder Alonso blooped a single off Pedro Baez with one out. Pinch-hitter Clint Barmes singled off Paco Rodriguez to send Alonso to second.
Rodriguez should have been out of the inning when he got pinch-hitter Yangervis Solarte to pop up. But as Rollins backpedaled to shallow center and stuck out his glove for the catch, he simply missed the ball, and stumbled to the ground as Alonso scored the tying run.
San Diego took a 3-2 lead with another run in the top of the eighth. Derek Norris singled and took second on a Kemp groundout. The Dodgers elected to intentionally walk Upton. Rodriguez popped up Will Middlebrooks and then J.P. Howell was summoned to get out the left-handed hitting Alonso. Instead, Alonso singled to left to drive in Norris.
That was another lead gone in a hurry. In the bottom of the inning, Gonzalez crushed a solo home run through the heavy night air off Joaquin Benoit to tie it again. It was his second home run in as many games.
But the Dodgers were not done giving away runs. They had a theme to continue. Barmes opened the ninth with a basehit off Chris Hatcher and pinch-hitter Cory Spangenberg set down a bunt that died in the dirt just inside the first-base foul line.
Grandal bobbled the ball, but still had time to get Spangenberg. He threw from his knees to first, hitting Spangenberg in the back for the Dodgers' third error.
Wil Myers singled in the go-ahead run, Norris doubled in two more and a Middlebrooks RBI single completed the scoring.
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