At least it’s over.
At least, after 10 days away from home, the Dodgers can return to Los Angeles on Sunday evening. They departed Mexico with a losing record, one worsened by this three-city trip, which ended with a 3-0 defeat to the Padres at Monterrey Stadium.
The Dodgers went 4-7 on this visit to San Francisco, Arizona and Monterrey. The consequences to their roster were more severe. The team lost Corey Seager, Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw to injury, with Kershaw going on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with biceps tendinitis. The patchwork roster played listless baseball throughout the trip, save for a combined no-hitter led by Walker Buehler on Friday.
The Dodgers can rest Monday. But starting Tuesday they have two more games with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have won seven of 10 from the Dodgers and lead them by eight games in the National League West.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We’ve got a team that is smelling blood, in Arizona, playing well. We’re chasing those guys.”
The Dodgers (15-19) are also chasing a winning record. They are chasing health for their pitching staff. They are chasing anything resembling consistency from their lineup.
On Sunday the Dodgers went hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position. They stranded 13 runners. They were held scoreless for six innings by Padres starter Eric Lauer, a 22-year-old left-hander making his third career appearance in the majors.
Thrown into the Dodgers’ rotation as an emergency option, Ross Stripling contributed four scoreless innings. He scattered four hits and struck out five. He had pitched in relief three days ago, so his pitch count was limited.
Stripling dealt with some nausea before the game. It was unrelated to the onslaught of injuries, which he described as “a punch in the gut.” Stripling will replace Kershaw in the starting rotation for the foreseeable future.
“Dominoes keep falling for us,” Stripling said.
After Stripling departed, Tony Cingrani surrendered a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer. He gave up a one-out single to Travis Jankowski. Up next was Hosmer. Cingrani fell behind in the count. He fed Hosmer a 3-1 fastball. Hosmer did not miss.
“He got a pitch center cut,” Roberts said. “And he did what he does.”
San Diego produced another run in the seventh. Appearing in his second inning of relief, Pedro Baez permitted a leadoff triple to Jankowski. Three batters later Yimi Garcia faced Franchy Cordero, who stroked an RBI single.
The Dodgers offered no counter. They will have to do better this week against Arizona.
“We’ve got our hands full,” Roberts said. “No one is going to feel sorry for us.”