Dodgers’ Streak Is Now X Games


If Dodger Manager Bill Russell didn’t have enough to worry about, starter Hideo Nomo has lost five of his last seven decisions and right fielder Raul Mondesi’s left shoulder is aching again.

Nomo gave up six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings and the Dodgers lost their 10th consecutive game to the San Diego Padres, 9-3, Saturday before 43,740 at Dodger Stadium.

The Padres have outscored the Dodgers, 51-24, in winning their last eight games at Dodger Stadium dating to a 1-0 Dodger victory July 15.


Mondesi, who sprained his left shoulder with a headfirst slide into third base on June 2, left the game after the seventh inning and is day to day.

“I felt a sharp pain when I batted in the first inning,” said Mondesi, who has batted .346 in his last 21 games.

With the halfway point of the season Monday, the Dodgers are three games under .500 at 38-41 and trail the San Francisco Giants by 7 games in the National League West.

But Russell hasn’t given up.

“We were 10 games out in the last month in 1983 and we came back and won it,” Russell said. “We’ve got to battle our way through this. We can’t give up, you never give up. We can change things around.

“We’ve got too good of a pitching staff to let this get out of hand.”

Third baseman Todd Zeile agreed.

“We’ve had inconsistency and a little bad luck,” Zeile said. “But we’ve got to keep plugging through this tough time and sometime after the break, you’ll see the team everyone was expecting us to be.”

Nomo (7-7) has given up an average of 3.4 earned runs in his last six starts after giving up an average of 2.1 in his first 10.


Pitching coach Dave Wallace wasn’t happy to be asked about Nomo.

“It’s amazing,” Wallace said. “Everybody comes in here when [it’s] bad. The guy throws a shutout the other night and nobody comes in and asks me anything.”

Steve Finley, who had two home runs, hit a solo homer in the first inning and Tony Gwynn hit a two-run homer in the fifth against Nomo.

“He made a couple of pitches that really hurt him,” catcher Mike Piazza said.

“I think the biggest difference is that guys know him now,” Gwynn said of Nomo. “When he first came up, none of us had a clue what he was going to do or what he was going to throw.

“Now, three years in, guys know him pretty well. They have a good idea of what they have to do to be successful against him.

“He can still fool you, but he didn’t try to today. I saw five heaters [fastballs] every time up. I didn’t see a forkball or a breaking ball.”

Russell pulled Nomo with two out in the fifth after he gave up three runs on four hits in the inning, including the two-run homer to Gwynn.


The good news for the Dodgers in the series is that Gwynn’s big hits keep getting smaller. He had an inside-the-park grand slam Thursday and a three-run double Friday.

Nomo has lost three consecutive games to the Padres. However, his longest losing streak against an opponent is his current four-game streak against the Florida Marlins.

Reliever Mike Harkey, called up when the Dodgers put Ramon Martinez on the disabled list Monday, gave up a three-run homer to Finley in the sixth inning as the Padres took a 9-2 lead.

Pete Smith, making his first start after 17 relief appearances, gave up two runs on three hits in five innings and two relievers scattered five hits over the last four innings as the Padres beat the Dodgers for the 14th time in 16 games.

Smith retired the first nine Dodgers he faced before Wilton Guerrero led off the fourth inning with a triple. Roger Cedeno drove in Guerrero with a single.