Padres third baseman Chase Headley slides safely into third base ahead… (Gregory Bull / Associated…)
So much for perfection.
The Dodgers suffered their first loss of the season Sunday as Aaron Harang had himself a forgettable debut, the Dodgers falling, 8-4, to the Padres as San Diego avoided a four-game sweep.
Hey, there’s always 161-1.
Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier continued their hot starts, each with a two-run homer, but otherwise the Dodgers went ever so quietly, particularly against Padres starter Clayton Richard.
Richard, coming off shoulder surgery and making his first start since July 4, frustrated the Dodgers throughout the afternoon. Just like always. He did not give up a hit until Juan Uribe singled with no outs in the fifth.
The only other hit Richard surrendered in his seven innings was the two-out home run to Kemp in the sixth. That followed an earlier error, so both runs charged to Richard were unearned. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.
Harang, who last season pitched for the Padres, had quite a different experience. At no time did he look particularly sharp against his weak-hitting ex-teammates. He lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and five walks. He did strike out six.
The Dodgers managed just four hits on the afternoon.
Ethier hit his first home run of the season in the ninth, his two-run shot coming off Ernesto Frieri.
It was still a 4-2 game in the eighth when Scott Elbert, who had thrown scoreless baseball in 27 of his last 29 appearances, gave up a grand slam to Chase Headley. It was Headley’s first hit this season in 17 plate appearances.
Despite the disappointing loss Sunday, the Dodgers still managed to take three of four from the Padres. And with Kershaw leaving early in the opener and the bullpen getting used early, they weren’t left in position to complain.
The eight runs scored by the Padres on Sunday matched their total from the previous three games.
The Dodgers are off Monday before they play the Pirates on Tuesday to open a three-game series at home. Kershaw, who pitched only three innings in the season opener Thursday before succumbing to the flu, said he will be able to make his start in the home opener.
There could be a new Don Mattingly this year, and that's good
Some things never get old, like baseball's purity, and Vin Scully
Favorable schedule gives Dodgers a chance to start strong
And on the fourth game, the Dodgers fall 8-4 to Padres