Chris Capuano hits the dirt while getting the final out of the first inning… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
That didn’t work out so well, the first dip into that huge surplus of Dodgers’ starting pitching.
The Dodgers began the season with three extra veteran starters. They were stretching to new lengths that old baseball adage about never having enough pitching.
On a windy Tuesday night, the first time they needed an extra starter, they sent out left-hander Chris Capuano, and it did not go well.
BOX SCORE: San Diego 9, Dodgers 2
Capuano gave up four runs in the first inning and then left one batter into the third with a leg injury, the Dodgers going on to get hammered by the Padres, 9-2, before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 35,898.
The game marked the first three-game losing streak of the young season for the Dodgers, who now may need emergency starter No. 2. The Dodgers said Capuano suffered a strained left calf.
Because of off-days Thursday and Monday, they could go until April 28 before needing a fifth starter again. Capuano was starting for Zack Greinke, who is out for eight weeks after suffering a broken collarbone Thursday in San Diego when Carlos Quentin charged the mound after being hit by a pitch.
Next in the rotation line (Aaron Harang was traded April 6) is Ted Lilly, who went five innings Tuesday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga in a rehab start at Lake Elsinore, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk. He struck out five.
If Lilly is sent into the rotation, that would suddenly leave the Dodgers without any veteran backup starters. Everybody said they needed at least four extra, right?
The opening inning of Capuano’s first start was hardly of the encouraging variety. He gave up the four runs on five hits, a walk and a wild pitch. He recorded the inning’s final out covering first and falling awkwardly on his back after taking a throw from Adrian Gonzalez.
He came back to retire the Padres in order in the second, the final out again coming when he covered first on a force. He walked off the field gingerly after that.
The Dodgers got Matt Guerrier up in the bullpen between innings, but Capuano came back out to start the third. When he walked Jesus Guzman to lead off the inning, Manager Don Mattingly and trainers met with him on the mound. He tried throwing a couple of practice pitches, but the Dodgers elected not to push the calf and removed him from the game.
Guzman ended up scoring, leaving Capuano charged with five runs in his two-plus innings.
The Dodgers ended up needing six pitchers on the night. The light-hitting Padres used 15 hits to score their eight runs.
Offensively, the Dodgers were again kept at bay, this time Jason Marquis holding them to one run on three hits in his 7 2/3 innings. The Dodgers had beaten Marquis in his last outing, in that infamous Thursday night game in San Diego.
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