Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda struggles in 8-1 loss to Giants

Reporting from San Francisco -- Well, you can’t win ‘em all.

The Dodgers received a shellacking Sunday, as Hiroki Kuroda was ineffective and the bullpen was downright awful in an 8-1 defeat to the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The loss was the Dodgers’ first in six days.

Plagued with command problems, Kuroda gave up three runs and eight hits in a season-low 42/3 innings. Considering how he pitched, the damage could have been far worse.

Kuroda said the neck problems that bothered him in previous seasons have resurfaced in recent weeks. He has been charged with 12 runs in 162/3 innings over his last three starts.


While Kuroda downplayed the severity of his neck pain — “Compared to what it’s been in the past, it’s very mild,” he said — he acknowledged it could be affecting his delivery.

“My front shoulder has been opening up too quickly and my release point is off,” Kuroda said.

Kuroda exited the game with the Dodgers trailing, 3-1.

The deficit increased, as Hong-Chih Kuo, Josh Lindblom and Scott Elbert combined to give up five runs in sixth inning.

By surpassing the 180-innings mark — he has pitched 183 — Kuroda earned $125,000 in incentive pay. Kuroda, who is on a one-year, $12-million contract, will receive $175,000 for pitching 190 innings and $200,000 for 200 innings.

He figures to make three more starts this season.

Remembering 9/11

There was no ceremonial first pitch Sunday at AT&T Park, as Giants Manager Bruce Bochy instead placed a ball at the mound as a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

“Walking to the mound to put the ball down, I was thinking of all the people who were lost and their families,” Bochy said. “It’s such a tough day for Americans, to go through something like that.”

Players from both teams took part in the pregame ceremony, as they stood along the foul lines. San Francisco firefighters, police officers and sheriff’s deputies lined the infield grass, along with representatives from airline companies.

“It was emotional,” said Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, who played and coached in New York.

Fans in attendance received remembrance cards that included the name of a 9/11 victim and were asked to hold them up during a moment of silence.

Short hops

Andre Ethier’s knee operation is scheduled for Wednesday and will be done by team physician Neal ElAttrache. … Double-A Chattanooga was eliminated from the Southern League playoffs Saturday night, but Matttingly said none the players will be promoted to the majors. “This is it,” Mattingly said of his team’s roster. … Catcher Tim Federowicz made his major league debut, entering the game as an eighth-inning defensive replacement for Rod Barajas. Federowicz batted in the ninth inning and struck out.