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Hiroka Kuroda looks at ease in Dodgers' 1-0 win over Padres

With the trade deadline passed, the right-hander is more relaxed, according to Manager Don Mattingly, and he shows it with seven shutout innings. Matt Kemp singles home the only run.

August 02, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez

Hiroki Kuroda said he still had doubts in his mind as he went into his start against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.

He said he wondered if he made the right decision by refusing to waive his no-trade clause in the days leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline on Sunday. He said he wondered if he did the Dodgers a disservice by not allowing them to unload his salary and pick up a couple of prospects.

But he said his teammates told him they were glad he stayed.

"You never know what they're actually thinking, but I appreciate them doing that," he said.

A 1-0 victory over the Padres also helped ease the mind of the frequent hard-luck loser, who ended a personal four-game losing streak.

Kuroda pitched seven shutout innings and lowered his earned-run average to 2.96 on his way to improving to 7-13.

"We got all kinds of runs for him tonight," Manager Don Mattingly said, laughing. "You don't give up any runs, you're not going to lose."

Mattingly said with the murmurs of trade talk no longer in the background, Kuroda looked more relaxed. The manager wondered aloud how much the trade talk weighed on Kuroda in his last three or four starts.

"Maybe he was, maybe he wasn't, but he looked at peace tonight," Mattingly said.

Actually, he looked more intense.

After striking out Logan Forsythe to end the seventh inning, Kuroda did something he rarely does.

He screamed.

Whatever the case, Kuroda was sharp, throwing 63 strikes in 100 pitches.

"He was sharp, he was crisp," Mattingly said. "Even on his misses, he was right on the edge."

Kemp streaking

Matt Kemp extended his season-long hitting streak to 10 games, driving in Dee Gordon with a fourth-inning single that put the Dodgers ahead, 1-0.

Kemp is 18 for 40 (.450) with two home runs and 12 runs batted in over the 10-game stretch.

Kemp's 84 RBIs lead the National League.

But as one streak continued, another came to an end.

Kemp was caught stealing in the fourth inning when Padres pitcher Mat Latos threw him out at third base, ending a run of 20 consecutive successful stolen-base attempts.

Day off for Ethier

Saying Andre Ethier looked "frustrated" on Monday night, Mattingly held his All-Star right fielder out of the lineup.

Ethier was 0 for 4 on Monday.

The Padres' starter on Tuesday was Latos, against whom Ethier is three for 14 with five strikeouts in his career.

With Ethier out of the lineup, second baseman Aaron Miles batted third. This was Miles' second time batting third.

Ethier entered the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement for Juan Rivera.

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