San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Stults celebrates after hitting a three-run… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
There were no brush back pitches, no brawls, no outward display of tension.
Alas, for the Dodgers, no victory either.
There was a disappointing 6-3 loss to the Padres, the Dodgers falling Monday on Jackie Robinson day before a Dodger Stadium sellout crowd of 52,136, as their offense again mostly struggled.
In the first meeting between the teams since Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin charged Zack Greinke after being hit with a pitch, fracturing his collarbone and leading to a bench-clearing scrap.
Both managers had received pregame phone calls from Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, reminding them this was about baseball and to shelf the hostilities.
Since Quentin was serving the second day of an eight-game suspension and not at the ballpark, most of the tension was already alleviated — for now.
The Padres came in on a five-game losing streak but jumped out to a quick lead. In his second start of the season, right-hander Chad Billingsley pitched pretty well. Really well, except for one little problem in the second inning.
There were two outs in the second with runners on first and second when left-handed starting pitcher Eric Stults came to bat. In his past 20 games, the 33-year-old Stults had driven in a run in exactly one game.
But Stults, the former Dodger, got all of a 2-2 Billingsley fastball and sent it over the center-field wall for a three-run homer. It was the first home run of his career.
The Dodgers, who had beaten Stults in his last outing, then began chipping away at the 3-0 San Diego lead. They scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
In the third Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp singled. Adrian Gonzalez would have driven in both runners, but his hit bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double and Kemp had to stop at third.
The Dodgers pulled within one in the fourth after Luis Cruz singled, was sacrificed to second by Billingsley and scored on a Crawford single. They tied it in the fifth after Kemp doubled to center and came home on an A.J. Ellis basehit.
Billingsley left for a pinch hitter after going six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks. He struck out two.
The Padres, however, regained the lead when the Dodgers’ bullpen — which had not allowed a run through the first week — again faltered.
Ronald Belisario came on to start the seventh, faced three batters and did not get an out. He left the bases loaded on two walks and a single for left-hander Paco Rodriguez.
After getting ahead 0-2 on pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia, Rodriguez walked him to force in the go-ahead run. He was able to get Yonder Alonso to bounce into a double play, but that still allowed the inning’s second run to score and leave San Diego with a 5-3 lead.
San Diego tacked on their final run in the 9th when Everth Cabrera crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kyle Blanks.
The Dodgers finished 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
Dodgers and Ted Lilly in troubling confrontation [Updated]
With Padres in town, Dodgers urge calm among fans
Dodgers place Shawn Tolleson on DL, call up Josh Wall