Padres 3, Dodgers 0
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Adam Eaton is at a loss to explain his incredible success at Dodger Stadium.
He just hopes he can keep it going.
Eaton has allowed only one earned run in 22 innings this year in Los Angeles. He’s held the Dodgers to 10 hits during the span while winning twice and getting a no-decision. In his career at Dodger Stadium, he’s 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in 57 innings, having allowed only six earned runs.
“I’ve been asked that question before. I really don’t have a clue,” Eaton said with a smile. “I can’t put my finger on it.”
The NL West-leading Dodgers’ lead was cut to 2 1/2 games over San Francisco— their smallest since July 31. The Giants beat Milwaukee 4-0 earlier in the day.
San Diego moved within 5 1/2 games of the Dodgers in the division and remained three back of the Giants in the wild-card race.
The Padres took the four-game series 3-1, but the Dodgers have won nine of the 16 games between the teams. They play their final three games next week in San Diego.
“We’re desperate. We have to win ballgames,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “We knew coming in here we had to win this series.”
Regarding Eaton’s success at Dodger Stadium, Bochy said: “There’s no rhyme or reason for a lot of things. He’s a good pitcher, you can start from there. Potentially, he’s a front-line guy. Tonight, he showed it.”
Eaton (10-13), walked one and struck out six before Akinori Otsuka took over with a runner at first and nobody out in the eighth. Eaton, who has a 7-2 lifetime record against the Dodgers, didn’t face more than four batters in an inning.
“I got outpitched tonight,” losing pitcher Jeff Weaver said. “Eaton was sharp and kept everybody off-balance. He pitches well here. That’s obvious.”
The save was the 390th in Hoffman’s career, moving him into a tie for third place on baseball’s all-time list with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley.
“I’m honored to share the third spot with him right now,” Hoffman said. “That’s a big deal in the regard that Eck was a guy who I watched do his work before games and who I emulated.”
Brian Giles hit a 2-2 breaking pitch from Weaver (12-11) into the right-field pavilion in the first for his second homer in as many games and 23rd of the season.
Ramon Vazquez’s two-out RBI single in the seventh completed the scoring.
Weaver allowed seven hits and three runs in seven innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Eaton, a 26-year-old right-hander, retired the first 10 Los Angeles batters — five on strikeouts—before Jose Hernandez doubled on an 0-2 pitch with one out in the fourth. Eaton pitched out of trouble by retiring Steve Finley on a liner to center and Adrian Beltre on a popup to the catcher.
Beltre doubled to start the seventh, but Eaton retired the next three batters. Second baseman Mark Loretta saved a run by making a diving catch on pinch-hitter Robin Ventura’s liner for the third out.
Beltre was back in the lineup after sitting out Wednesday night’s game because of soreness in his left foot and lower back.
“It’s not where we wanted it to be right now, but we’re in first place and they’re the ones trying to catch us,” he said of the Padres and Giants. “We know how tough it is trying to catch somebody in front, especially when there’s not a lot of games left.
“We’re still up by 2 1/2 games, so we’re in pretty good position.”
Dodgers OF Jayson Werth, 11-of-29 with four homers and eight RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak, didn’t play because of soreness in his rib cage area. … The Padres, who lost three infielders including starting SS Khalil Greene to injuries this week, acquired INF Alex Gonzalez and cash from the Montreal Expos late Thursday for a player to be named or cash. 3B Sean Burroughs injured his right knee sliding into second base Wednesday night and returned to San Diego for an MRI. INF Rich Aurilia injured his ankle while getting out of a car at the team hotel late Wednesday night. Greene broke a bone in his right index finger Monday night. … Giles’ homer gave the Padres a home run in 10 straight games, a season high. … Dodgers SS Cesar Izturis singled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He is the only major leaguer to have five hitting streaks of 10 games or longer this year.