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Dodgers-Padres game suspended in ninth inning

Dodgers and Padres are tied, 2-2, when the fourth rain delay pushes the conclusion of the game to Saturday evening.

April 09, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp during the ninth inning Friday night at Petco Park, where the game was suspended after a fourth rain delay.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp during the ninth inning Friday night at… (Christopher Hanewinckel…)

You picked up your morning newspaper and noticed it didn't include a final score of the Dodgers' Friday night game.

So, you're visiting cyberspace, which knows no deadlines, to learn the fate of your beloved ballclub.

Here's the resolution you wanted to learn: There was no resolution.

That's right. The Dodgers didn't win. Neither did the San Diego Padres.

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They were tied, 2-2, in the top of the ninth inning when the game was suspended because of rain.

When the action was halted at 1:13 a.m., Matt Kemp was on first base with no outs. Heath Bell was on the mound. The cleaning crew was picking up trash in the upper deck.

The game, which was was officially suspended at 1:38 a.m., will resume on Saturday at 5:35 p.m.

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The contest has so far consisted of four weather-related delays totaling 3 hours and 36 minutes ? and 2 hours and 59 minutes of actual baseball.

"You're still here?" Kemp asked reporters.

Kemp joked that their diligence was no reason to interview him.

"The game ain't over yet," he said. "We haven't won yet."

Manager Don Mattingly acknowledged that he had some concerns about his bullpen. Immediately after this game is completed, the Dodgers and Padres will play another.

Three relievers are already unavailable for the in-progress game because they were already used: Mike MacDougal, Kenley Jansen and Matt Guerrier. Hong-Chih Kuo is still in the game, but the Dodgers would prefer not to use him on consecutive days because of his medical history.

That leaves Jonathan Broxton, Lance Cormier and Blake Hawksworth.

Mattingly said he hasn't ruled out the possibility of Broxton closing both games.

Of the relievers who pitched on Friday night/Saturday morning, Mattingly said he thought MacDougal could come back to pitch in the second game on Saturday evening.

Friday's game started with a delay.

Thinking the showers would hit Petco Park around the time of the first pitch, the Padres instructed their field crew to unfold the tarp on the infield. The Padres' mascot helped. So did a couple of ball girls.

But the rain didn't come. At least not then.

Ted Lilly pitched a scoreless first inning and Kemp led off the second inning with a double before the rain hit.

During the first delay of 1:34, Lilly told pitching coach Rick Honeycutt that he wanted to return to the mound when play resumed.

The Dodgers hitters did everything in their power to get Lilly back on the mound as soon as possible.

With Cory Luebke pitching in place of Padres starter Clayton Richard, Kemp advanced to third on a wild pitch to Juan Uribe.

But Uribe struck out. So did James Loney. And so did Marcus Thames.

The trio swung at 13 of the 16 pitches thrown to them by Luebke.

Uribe at least worked the count full. Loney struck out on three pitches. Thames, who fouled off the first three pitches of his at-bat, struck out in four.

The Dodgers finally scored in the fourth inning by relying on their most trusted offensive weapon this season: errant throws by the opposition.

Casey Blake drew a lead-off walk. Two at-bats later, Kemp also walked.

With Uribe at the plate, Blake and Kemp attempted a double steal.

Padres catcher Nick Hundley attempted to throw out Kemp at second base and sailed the ball into center field. Blake trotted home comfortably to put the Dodgers ahead, 1-0.

Kemp advanced to third base on a ground out by Uribe, but he was stranded there again, as Loney struck out to end the inning.

But a fielding error by Kemp in the fifth inning helped the Padres take the lead.

Will Venable led off the bottom half of that inning with a single to center field. Kemp misplayed the ball, allowing Venable to reach second base. Venable advanced to third on a fly ball to right field by Jason Bartlett and scored on a single by Orlando Hudson.

Until Hudson's single, the Padres and Dodgers were a combined 0 for 11 with men in scoring position.

Hudson moved to third base on a double by Jorge Cantu, which marked the end of Lilly's evening. With MacDougal pitching in relief of Lilly, Ryan Ludwick grounded out to short to push home Hudson to give the Padres a 2-1 lead.

Lilly was charged with two runs, seven hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers leveled the score in the sixth inning, as Kemp lined the ball over the head of Bartlett at shortstop to knock in Blake from third base. Because Blake moved from first base to second on passed ball, that run was also unearned.

In the middle of that inning, the game was delayed again because of rain. This delay lasted 1:07.

Asked what he and his teammates were doing during the game's various interruptions, Thames smiled and said, "Watching highlights. Everyone else is asleep."

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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