Dodgers’ Loss Is Out of Sight
Jake Peavy took a seat in the dugout, looked at the scoreboard and saw nothing.
He considered this a good thing, even though he is legally blind when not wearing corrective lenses.
The San Diego Padres’ right-hander held the Dodgers scoreless for seven innings, then turned the game over to stalwart relievers Scott Linebrink and Trevor Hoffman.
The result was really something, a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Petco Park that continued the Padres’ dominance over their National League West rivals.
The Dodgers have lost 10 of their last 11 against the Padres and hold only a two-game lead over them in the standings. The Dodgers have been held scoreless in 17 innings the last two nights and dropped their first series since getting swept by the Padres at Dodger Stadium a month ago.
The Dodgers are 2-3 on the trip and their 17-1 streak that preceded it seems a distant memory.
“It’s frustrating, but we can say we’ve been there before and can turn it around,” left fielder Andre Ethier said.
Dodgers left-hander Mark Hendrickson pitched as if his berth in the starting rotation was on the line -- and it probably was -- holding the Padres scoreless until the sixth. Five days after walking three in a poor 2 1/3 -inning outing, Hendrickson walked none but still took his sixth loss since coming to the Dodgers from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
“I got back to the basics of executing pitches,” he said. “I haven’t been happy with the way I’ve pitched since I got here.”
The run came on a hot smash by Mike Piazza with two out that shortstop Rafael Furcal couldn’t handle, enabling Josh Barfield to score. It was scored a single. Barfield had led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a fly out.
“If I could, I’d take back that pitch I threw to Mike,” Hendrickson said. “I was trying to elevate a fastball and threw it down the middle.”
The only Dodger who could solve Peavy was right-handed hitting Julio Lugo, who filled in at third base for switch-hitter Wilson Betemit even though Peavy is right-handed. Betemit, acquired from the Atlanta Braves on July 28, is mired in a four-for-26 slump and grounded out pinch-hitting in the seventh inning.
“This kid has played nearly every day since he’s been here,” Manager Grady Little said. “He hasn’t been in that position before. I just want to give him a break.”
Despite nursing an injury to the middle finger of his right hand, Lugo doubled and singled twice.
His third hit came with two out in the ninth against Hoffman -- making him four for four against the Padres’ closer -- and advanced J.D. Drew to second. Pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz hit a hard ground ball, but it was right at Barfield, the second baseman, for the final out.
The only other noteworthy Dodgers at-bat was Nomar Garciaparra’s groundout in the fourth inning. It was his 400th plate appearance, triggering the first of eight $500,000 bonuses built into his contract. He gets $500,000 for each 25 at-bats until reaching 575.
“I’d rather be paying it than not paying it,” General Manager Ned Colletti said. “He’s earned it. I hope he has a lot more at-bats because he’s been extremely productive.”
Nearly everyone’s productivity ceased against Peavy (7-12), who struggled until a few weeks ago. One reason for his resurgence is a shipment of stronger contact lenses he received recently.
“I was putting signals everywhere, but Jake was having trouble picking them up,” catcher Rob Bowen told the San Diego Union. “I thought we were going to have to go to smoke signals.”
Instead, Peavy’s pitches smoldered and the Dodgers’ streak of winning eight series in a row was extinguished.
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The Dodgers are 3-10 against the Padres this season. How they have done against each other:
*--* Dodgers Padres Average 204 261 Runs 42 68 Doubles 10 25 Homers 11 12 SLG% 313 420 ERA 4.85 3.08
Los Angeles Times