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After three straight shutouts, it's becoming a zero-sum game for Dodgers

Rubby De La Rosa, following lights-out starts by Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, combines with three relievers for a one-hitter in 1-0 win over Padres. It's the first time Dodgers have strung together three shutouts since July 1991.

July 09, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers starter Rubby De La Rosa delivers a pitch against the Padres on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers starter Rubby De La Rosa delivers a pitch against the Padres on Saturday… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

The Dodgers did something Saturday that they hadn't done in almost two decades.

They pitched their third consecutive shutout.

The last time the Dodgers did that was July 25-27, 1991.

After Clayton Kershaw pitched eight scoreless innings Thursday and Chad Billingsley duplicated the feat Friday, rookie right-hander Rubby De La Rosa delivered six scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal and Blake Hawksworth each pitched a perfect inning in a combined one-hitter.

The Padres have scored one run in the last 35 innings.

Asked if the lack of offense in the game (the teams combined for three hits) was a reflection of good pitching or bad hitting, Manager Don Mattingly replied, "You try hitting Rubby."

Over his last three starts, the hard-throwing De La Rosa has allowed four runs in 20 innings.

"We're trying to keep everything simple for him," catcher Dioner Navarro said. "He's really young, really talented. I don't think he knows how good he is."

Players become fans

The Dodgers had a hitters' meeting in the clubhouse dining room at 11 a.m. Saturday, but most of the participants were three minutes late.

Mattingly didn't mind. "I was late, too," the manager said.

The reason: They were in the clubhouse watching Derek Jeter get his 3,000th hit.

The room erupted in cheers when Jeter reached the milestone by hitting a home run off of David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays. Matt Kemp shouted and jumped.

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, whose son Tony Jr. started in left field for the Dodgers, spoke to the team about hitting. The elder Gwynn reminded the players to relax.

"Let the game come to you," Navarro recalled being told.

Gwynn, a member of the 3,000-hit club, later spoke to reporters about Jeter.

"I can't imagine what it's like to hit a home run" for hit No. 3,000, he said. "I don't think I would have been able to keep a straight face all the way around the bases."

On the other side

Luke Gregerson, who gave up the Dodgers' only two hits Saturday, downplayed the significance of blowing the Padres' no-hitter.

"Who cares?" he said. "The starter was out of the game. What . . . does it matter at that point? It's only fun if the starter goes nine innings and there's a no-hitter and guys score some runs."

Aaron Harang, who pitched the first six innings for San Diego, said he understood why Manager Bud Black pulled him from the game. Harang hadn't pitched in a month because of a bruised foot.

Harang, who threw 95 pitches, said he had no chance of pitching a complete game because of a 37-pitch first inning. In that inning, Andre Ethier walked on 11 pitches and Kemp walked on nine.

"Those two guys kept pounding stuff off," Harang said.

Now you know

The Dodgers said "hundreds . . . perhaps more than a thousand" fans showed up at Dodger Stadium in the evening, unaware that the start time had been moved from 7:10 p.m. to 1:10 to accommodate Fox's regional telecast. These fans were given ticket vouchers for a future game.

The team said it made an effort to inform fans of the time change via email, social network platforms and team broadcasts.

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