The Dodgers' previously reliable bullpen gave up six runs to the San… (Rob Tringali / Getty Images )
This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
Perfection wasn’t going to last forever for the Dodgers bullpen, which didn’t make it any less painful when it finally buckled. And then buckled some more.
After the Dodgers had twice rallied to tie the game up with Padres on Tuesday, the game was turned over to the bullpen. Which after one scoreless inning by Chris Capuano, went belly up big time.
The bullpen’s streak of scoreless innings was snapped at 14, as the Padres won their home opener 9-3 at Petco Park.
San Diego scored one run in the seventh off Ronald Belisario to take the lead, and then put the game away with five more in the eighth off three different relievers. An inning that included five walks.
Will Venable, who earlier had hit a solo home run, tripled in three runs in the eighth to take all the air out of the Dodgers.
Josh Beckett started and went five innings, which is actually the shortest stint for a Dodgers starter this season.
Beckett got into trouble in a hurry, surrendering a pair of runs in the first inning.
Venable crushed his one-out home run to right. A Yonder Alonso double and run-scoring single by Jedd Gyorko gave San Diego a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers seemed intent on stranding runners. Padres starter Clayton Richard was far from his typical sharp self, but the Dodgers kept coming up empty.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the first and Juan Uribe tapped into a double play. They had runners at first and second with no outs, and Justin Sellers bounced into a double play and Beckett struck out. Hot-hitting Carl Crawford singled to open the third but was picked off first by Richard.
The Dodgers finally pushed through in the fourth when Adrian Gonzalez led off with a single. Uribe, whom Manager Don Mattingly said he started because of past success against Richard, then hit a misleading fly to right that Venable at first took a step in on. But taking advantage of the Padres' decision to bring the fences in this season, the ball kept going, landing just over the wall for a two-run homer.
The Padres regained the lead in the fifth on a Nick Hundley solo homer.
Beckett left following the fifth, allowing the three runs on six hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. For his second consecutive start, he pitched OK (at one point retiring 10 consecutive Padres), just not special.
The Dodgers, however, tied the game back up in the seventh. Andrew Cashner gave up a leadoff single to Crawford. A pair of groundouts moved Crawford to third, where he scored when Gonzalez singled off left-hander Joe Thatcher.
Gonzalez is 5 for 9 this season with runners in scoring position; the rest of the Dodgers are 5 for 54.
The tied game was left to the Dodgers’ perfect bullpen, only this time it was unrecognizable. Ronald Belisario gave up a leadoff hit to Cameron Maybin, whose soft bouncer fell between Sellers and Nick Punto, who unfortunately had just entered the game at third.
Hundley’s sacrifice bunt moved Maybin to second, where he scored on pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay’s double into the right-center gap.
Which was nothing compared to the please-don’t-look eighth inning. Paco Rodriguez, Matt Guerrier and J.P. Howell all took turns failing; Venable’s bases-loaded triple was off Howell. In one game, the bullpen’s ERA went from 0.00 to 3.38.
[For the record, April 9, 2013, 8:40 p.m.: A previous version of this post misspelled Yonder Alonso's last name as Alfonso.]
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