Hong-Chih Kuo is back, but he isn’t back. Four of the five batters he faced in the ninth inning today reached base, and all of them scored thanks in part to a sacrifice fly and double off Mike McDougal in the Dodgers’ 7-0 crumble to the Padres.
Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a seventh-inning infield single, but that was just about where the offensive highlights ended for the Dodgers, who fell to 14-15. The Dodgers are 4 1/2 games behind first-place Colorado in the National League West and 2 1/2 ahead of last-place San Diego.
Juan Uribe had a nice defensive game at third base, but his double-play grounder after a one-out walk to Ethier and single by Matt Kemp (2 for 4) in the fourth inning ended the Dodgers’ best offensive threat while the game was still in doubt. With two out in the ninth, the Dodgers finally got a runner to third base for the first time in the game thanks to singles by Aaron Miles and Kemp, but Uribe blooped out to right to end it.
The Padres scored their seven runs despite going 26 consecutive batters without a hit from the second inning, after they scored three runs off Dodger starter Jon Garland, into the ninth. Garland went six innings, allowing three hits and four walks while striking out eight.
Identical twins: Ethier and Kemp have each reached base 56 times in 125 plate appearances (.448 OBP) this season.