Dodgers’ Mat Latos encounters early trouble; rotation spot in jeopardy

Mat Latos

Dodgers starter Mat Latos gave up eight hits and four runs in four innings against the Padres on Thursday night in San Diego.

(Denis Poroy / Getty Images)

In the wake of the Dodgers’ 10-7 defeat by the San Diego Padres on Thursday night, Manager Don Mattingly looked and sounded more frustrated than at any point this season.

Mattingly was particularly incensed with a controversial call in the bottom of the sixth inning that started the Padres’ comeback.

With the Dodgers leading, 7-4, shortstop Corey Seager fielded a grounder by Jedd Gyorko and flipped it to Chase Utley, who appeared to turn a double play. However, second base umpire Chris Conroy ruled that Utley didn’t have his foot on second base after he received the ball and that Justin Upton was safe at second base.

The Dodgers challenged the play, but the original call was upheld.


“He told me he didn’t believe in the neighborhood play, so I guess he changed the rules tonight,” Mattingly said. “I didn’t realize he could change the rules during the game.”

Upton scored later in the inning. The run, which was charged to Pedro Baez, was the first of six allowed by the Dodgers’ bullpen.

J.P. Howell gave up a solo home run by Yangervis Solarte in the seventh inning. Jim Johnson served up a two-run blast to Gyorko in the eighth. Juan Nicasio was also charged with two runs.

“Just frustrated right now,” Mattingly said.


Asked which of his relievers he could trust, Mattingly replied, “I’m just frustrated right now.”

Pressed further, Mattingly said, “That means I don’t really feel like talking about pretty much anything right now.”

Other problems

How much longer will Mat Latos be in the Dodgers’ rotation?

“I’m sure it’s something we talk about,” Mattingly said.

Latos certainly didn’t do anything Thursday to convince the organization he should pitch every five days, as he lasted only four innings. Latos gave up two runs in the first inning and two more in the second.

Latos complained about what he perceived as an early removal.

“It’s hard to get into a rhythm,” he said. “I kind of settled in, put up two zeros up on the board, found my release point. By the time I do that, I’m already out of the game.”


Latos has now failed to complete five innings in each of his last four starts. He has posted a 6.56 earned-run average since the Dodgers acquired him from the Miami Marlins in a three-way trade involving the Atlanta Braves.

Medical update

Andre Ethier was held out of the lineup, as his left knee was swollen after being struck by a foul ball the previous night. Mattingly described Ethier as day to day.

“I didn’t realize he got it up in the side of the knee,” Mattingly said. “I thought it was going to be more down low on the shin area.”

Roster moves

The Dodgers recalled right-hander Yimi Garcia, who was optioned to triple-A Oklahoma City on Aug. 24.

In his three previous stints in the major leagues, the 25-year-old Garcia posted a 3.55 earned-run average in 46 appearances. He was 3-3 with a save.

To clear a place for Seager on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated triple-A first baseman Andy Wilkins for assignment.


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