Dodgers Continue to Reel

Times Staff Writer

These are troubling times for the Dodgers, who are openly questioning whether their National League-worst offense is good enough to win another game, let alone a division title.

The lowly San Diego Padres only instilled more self-doubt Tuesday night in the Dodgers, scoring six runs in the seventh inning to hand them their fourth consecutive loss, 7-1, before 49,374 at Dodger Stadium.

“There are no more excuses. There’s no more time to wait for it to start coming,” said catcher Paul Lo Duca, who provided the team’s run with an RBI single in the third, and with a .317 batting average is the only Dodger regular hitting over .300.

“I don’t think getting one guy or two guys [in trades] is going to make a difference. We need to get it done within ourselves.”


San Diego showed the Dodgers how things are done on offense in the seventh.

Trailing, 1-0, the NL West’s last-place team shocked the second-place Dodgers (45-36), who have lost seven of eight. They broke open the game and chased Hideo Nomo (9-7), who failed to record an out in the inning.

Nomo’s earned-run average increased from 2.41 to 2.71. For only the second time in 18 starts, Nomo failed to work at least seven innings.

San Diego starter Brian Lawrence (5-9) continued to be a Dodger nemesis. He gave up five hits and one run in six innings to improve to 6-3 with a 2.12 ERA against the Dodgers.

The Padres sent 10 batters to the plate in the seven-hit seventh against Nomo -- who faced six batters -- and reliever Guillermo Mota. San Diego loaded the bases five times as boos echoed throughout the stadium.

Ryan Klesko began the rally with a 449-foot leadoff home run into the right-field pavilion against Nomo on a first-pitch splitter, and ended the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

“He only had one bad inning, but sometimes that’s enough,” Klesko said.

It was an embarrassing display for the Dodgers, who had only one more hit in the game (eight) than their guests had in the seventh. Watching the awful offense is especially burdensome on Manager Jim Tracy, who was ejected in the ninth by home-plate umpire Ted Barrett after arguing that Gary Matthews should not have been ruled safe at home on Mark Loretta’s single to left-center.


Tracy kicked dirt on the plate after being tossed, displaying more action there than Dodger batters have most of the season. The Dodgers scored one run or fewer in their fourth straight game.

“We’re pressing and everyone knows it,” said third baseman Adrian Beltre, who has hit in five straight. “We’re reading it in the papers, we see it on TV, that we can’t score enough.

“Everyone sees it and we’re all trying to do too much. We can do better, we know we can, but we’ve got to stop pressing.”

And there was more bad news for the Dodgers.


Left fielder Brian Jordan is on the disabled list and is expected to undergo season-ending knee surgery, and center fielder Dave Roberts left the game in the top of the fourth after aggravating his right hamstring injury.

“We just have to stay focused and do what we know we can do,” Lo Duca said. “We really don’t have another choice.”