The San Diego Padres headed into Monday’s series opener against the Dodgers with a precarious pitching plan. Light on viable starters, they were intent on a bullpen game, deploying a stream of relievers to face the Dodgers’ potent offense.
That would spell disaster for most bullpens. But most bullpens don’t have the arms the upstart Padres boast. Instead, the Dodgers went silent as six pitchers held them to four hits and three walks in a 2-1 loss at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers’ only run came in the first inning on Cody Bellinger’s RBI single off Luis Perdomo, the Padres’ opener. They threatened for more runs but Bellinger was left stranded at third base and Perdomo escaped a 26-pitch inning having given up just the lone run.
From there, five Padres relievers kept the Dodgers (11-6) off the board as they left six runners on base and went one for eight with runners in scoring position. They went two for two to start the game before going two for 28 the remainder of the game.
The Dodgers’ failures included not scoring after loading the bases with no outs against Cal Quantrill in the fourth inning. Edwin Ríos squared a line drive right at first baseman Eric Hosmer, who doubled Chris Taylor off at first base.
“When you get opportunities when you need a ground ball or a flyball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “we got to cash in.”
The offense failed to support another strong outing from Dustin May. The rookie right-hander held the Padres (10-7) scoreless for four innings before Austin Hedges, a .091 hitter to that point, whacked a cutter over the center-field wall. The Padres added another run in the sixth inning on Hosmer’s two-out RBI bloop single before May could escape.
He gave up the two runs on five hits across six innings. He compiled two walks and two strikeouts. He threw 83 pitches. It was the second time in less than a week that he logged six innings against the Padres.
“I thought I threw pretty well,” May said. “They just hit the mistakes that I threw.”
Caleb Ferguson, Blake Treinen, and Scott Alexander combined to shut the Padres out over the final three innings, but the Dodgers went down in order in four of the final five innings.
Their last best scoring chance came in the seventh inning when Taylor walked, stole second base and advanced to third base on an error. Will Smith later walked to put runners on the corners, but Joc Pederson grounded into a fielder’s choice to conclude the inning.
AJ Pollock, the Dodgers’ hottest healthy hitter, was summoned with two outs and the bases empty in the ninth inning. He popped out to end the game.
“Dustin pitched his tail off tonight,” Roberts said, “and it’s unfortunate we didn’t come away with a win.”
Observations from the Dodgers' loss to the Padres on Monday:
Manager Dave Roberts said he didn’t regret keeping Dustin May in the game to face Eric Hosmer in the sixth when Hosmer delivered the go-ahead single. Roberts liked the matchup after Hosmer’s first two at-bats.
Blake Treinen tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings Monday to keep his perfect earned-run average. The right-hander hasn’t given up a run in 7 1/3 innings this season.
The Dodgers’ starting lineup Monday had one batter with a batting average higher than .250: Mookie Betts (.279). Corey Seager’s .340 batting average leads the team with AJ Pollock second at .304.
Reliever Joe Kelly was placed on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation Monday. Kelly will likely have to serve a suspension from throwing at the Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman when he returns. Kelly appealed MLB’s eight-game ban. The hearing was scheduled for Monday. … Corey Seager, out since Friday with a back injury, played catch on the field before the game. Roberts said placing Seager on the injured list remains an option. … Left-hander Alex Wood (shoulder inflammation) threw a 30-pitch bullpen. He is tentatively scheduled to pitch in a simulated game Thursday. …Outfielder Terrance Gore cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Dodgers’ alternate training site at USC.