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Dodgers are boot-strapped again in 5-2 loss to Padres

Dodgers commit two more errors to tie for major league lead in that dubious stat, and hang another loss on hard-luck ace Clayton Kershaw, whose last win was May 20.

June 21, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Clayton Kershaw walks back to the pitchers mound after giving up a solo home run to Chris Denorfia during the first inning of the Dodgers' loss to the San Diego Padres, 5-2.
Clayton Kershaw walks back to the pitchers mound after giving up a solo home… (Alex Gallardo / Associated…)

SAN DIEGO — It has been more than a month since Clayton Kershaw won.

He might be a 10-game winner this season. He is the best pitcher in baseball.

Those statements should not go together, but Kershaw pitches for the Dodgers, the most disappointing team in baseball. They don't hit, particularly when he pitches. They don't play good defense — in fact, with two errors Friday, they tied the Houston Astros for the most errors in the major leagues.

BOX SCORE: San Diego 5, Dodgers 2

And so the Dodgers don't win. The San Diego Padres beat Kershaw and the Dodgers on Friday night, 5-2.

The Dodgers dropped deeper into last place in the National League West. They are 91/2 games out of first place — a season high — and 9-23 against the NL West.

The fire still burns within Kershaw, at least. When a television interviewer asked about fans saying the Dodgers were playing without a sense of urgency, Kershaw snapped back.

"I'm not going to answer that," he said. "I want to hear some fan say that to me."

The low-budget Padres are 7-4 against the Dodgers this season, 3-0 against Kershaw.

"We've got to play better," he said. "It's no fun coming into this clubhouse every day and losing."

Yasiel Puig put on his nightly show, including beating out a ground ball to shortstop for a single, successfully tagging from first base on a fly ball to right field, and recording another outfield assist. He had two hits, raising his batting average to .455.

The loss wasn't his fault. It wasn't anywhere close to Kershaw's fault, yet he remained winless since May 20.

The Padres scored three of their runs in the third inning, with several assists from the Dodgers' backup outfielders. With Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford on the disabled list and Andre Ethier out of the starting lineup because of a sore knee, the Dodgers started Elian Herrera in left field and Skip Schumaker in center.

With one out in the third inning, Logan Forsythe singled to left. The ball clanked off Herrera's glove for an error, so Forsythe took second.

Chris Denorfia walked. Chase Headley then hit a ball beyond third base and down the line. The ball took a crazy bounce in foul territory, but Herrera charged when he should have retreated and played the ball into a triple.

That meant two runs for the Padres. Headley himself scored when Kyle Blanks' short fly to center fell just in front of a diving Schumaker for a single.

In all, Kershaw gave up four runs in six innings, with seven strikeouts. His earned-run average rose above 2.00 for the first time since April 23.

Think about it: He is 5-5 with a 2.06 ERA.

For the ninth time in Kershaw's 16 starts this season, the Dodgers failed to score more than two runs.

The stars should have aligned in the Dodgers' favor.

The Padres' starter, Clayton Richard, entered the game with a 7.01 ERA. He threw two pitches, then walked off the mound because of injury. The Padres later announced Richard had been diagnosed with pain in the AC joint of his left shoulder.

So, with no warning, on came Tim Stauffer from the San Diego bullpen. The Dodgers got one run in the first inning, after loading the bases with one out.

They did not get another runner to second base until the eighth inning.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Twitter: @BillShaikin

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