Brandon McCarthy has bumpy debut in Dodgers’ 7-4 victory

Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy delivers a pitch during a game against the Padres on April 8, 2015.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

KEY MOMENT: Adrian Gonzalez, who homered in his first three at-bats, also delivered a pivotal hit in his fourth. With the Dodgers leading, 6-4, in the sixth inning, Gonzalez stepped in to face left-hander Frank Garces with runners on the corner. Gonzalez singled to center field to drive in Justin Turner and extend the Dodgers’ lead to three.

ON THE MOUND: Brandon McCarthy didn’t look like a $48-million pitcher in his Dodgers debut. He was charged with four runs and nine hits in five innings. In the first inning, McCarthy served up a towering home run to Justin Upton that landed in the Dodgers’ bullpen. McCarthy later held the Padres scoreless over the next five innings, but in the sixth he gave up a solo homer to Will Middlebrooks and a run-scoring double to Yangervis Solarte, cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 7-4. Relievers Paco Rodriguez, Pedro Baez, J.P. Howell and Joel Peralta combined for four scoreless innings.

AT THE PLATE: Of the Dodgers’ seven runs, the three that didn’t involve Gonzalez were scored in the second inning. Joc Pederson drew a walk to load the bases. McCarthy fouled off a 99-mph fastball by Padres starter Andrew Cashner on his way to drawing a run-scoring walk. Another run scored when Jimmy Rollins reached base on an error. The final run of the inning came when Yasiel Puig hit into a fielder’s choice.

EXTRA BASES: Clayton Kershaw has had extensive dental work since being struck on the jaw by a line drive in spring. His next procedure is a root canal Monday Retired U.S. soccer player Landon Donovan threw out the ceremonial first pitch.


UP NEXT: The Dodgers have a day off Thursday. When they resume play Friday, Brett Anderson (1-3, 2.91 ERA in 2014) will face the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chase Anderson (9-7, 4.01) at Dodger Stadium at 6:30 p.m. On the air: TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020.