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Dodgers' chances are off the board

They get only five hits off Peavy, three relievers, and Kuroda is rocked in a 9-0 loss to the Padres.

June 13, 2008|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO -- Russell Martin was supposed to get the day off, and so was Jeff Kent. And then Matt Kemp accepted a two-game suspension.

So Joe Torre wrote out a lineup with Martin in the cleanup spot. Torre, the Dodgers' manager, said something spooked him into canceling Martin's day off.

"I saw the lineup without him," Torre said.

No matter. The Dodgers did not score. Jake Peavy and three relievers combined on a five-hitter, leading the San Diego Padres to a 9-0 victory over the Dodgers on Thursday at Petco Park.

The Dodgers left town scoreless in 14 consecutive innings. They have scored zero or one run in 11 of their last 20 games.

It has been one month since they have scored more than four runs in consecutive games.

"We haven't been able to put the building blocks together," Torre said.

This isn't a good offense, at least right now, with or without Martin in the lineup. Nomar Garciaparra might return in two weeks, Andruw Jones in three, and who knows about Rafael Furcal?

"We have the capacity to win," Kent said. "It doesn't take away from Furcal and Jones and Nomar. We would like to have our full team.

"But one or two guys should not make or break a season. If we point our fingers at the guys behind us [on the disabled list], that's not fair. We'd be running every day on false hope. Good teams don't rely on guys who are unable to play."

The Dodgers aren't a good team, at least right now, losers of 14 of their last 20 games, four games under .500. Torre said a veteran presence could help reassure the youngsters.

"It helps when you have some experienced guys around to let them know it's not as bad as they feel right now," Torre said.

But he also said: "Until you get that confidence back -- that inner conceit -- you have to talk yourself into things. Anybody that says they feel good about themselves when you lose a number of ballgames, I don't necessarily believe those people."

The Dodgers didn't do anything with Peavy, the reigning Cy Young Award winner, who improved to 12-1 with a 2.21 earned-run average against L.A. But the Dodgers also didn't do anything against Justin Hampson, Bryan Corey and Mike Adams.

This one was over within a few minutes. Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda turned in an awful performance, failing to get out of the third inning for the second time in three starts.

Kuroda put the Dodgers in a 5-0 hole in the first inning, so they were as good as dead against Peavy. The first six San Diego batters reached base, with back-to-back home runs as the low light of the inning -- a three-run shot from Brian Giles, followed by a solo shot from Adrian Gonzalez.

In his previous start, Kuroda fired a four-hit shutout, striking out 11 and walking none. In this start, he gave up hits to the first four batters. He lasted 2 1/3 innings, tying season highs by giving up six runs and walking four. His ERA rose to a season-high 4.04.

The Dodgers pointed no fingers after the game, except for the one Torre pointed at himself and his coaches.

"We're certainly capable of better than getting shut down and shut out," Torre said. "It's in there. It's my job -- and it's the job of my coaching staff -- to find the key that helps them be more consistent in the quality of at-bats."

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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