The night started off poorly for the Dodgers, but the offense showed up to lead them to an 8-6 win over the Padres on Tuesday night.
Kevin Correia served up a 3-run home run to Jedd Gyorko (hitting .199 at the time) to give San Diego an early 3-0 lead. It was vintage Correia, unfortunately. He wasn’t nearly as good as he was in his Dodgers’ debut, but he did enough to get the win (yay wins!): 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 81 pitches, 51 strikes. With all the injuries to the rotation, the Dodgers are going to (gulp) need Correia for the time being. He’ll have to be better than this. Seeing as he was facing his former team — the worst offensive team in the league — I’m not expecting much.
The offense chipped away at the lead, whittling it 3-2 before a 3-run fourth inning gave them a 5-3 lead. Justin Turner had two RBI doubles, each of which scored Matt Kemp (2-for-4, two doubles, two runs scored).
At 6-4 in the seventh in, Carl Crawford came to the plate. Padres’ manager Bud Black brought in Alex Torres — a left-handed pitcher. Naturally, Crawford — 10-for-39 with three doubles off LHP this season — hit his fifth home run of the season to cap his 3-for-3 night. He also walked and stole his 19th base of the season. In his last 15 games (12 starts), Crawford has been really good: .420/.452/.480. At this rate, we should be happy to get positive offensive contributions from left field. Nice knownin’ ya, Andre Ethier.
Kenley Jansen had a bumpy ninth inning. He allowed an unearned run after walking Will Venable to start the inning (serves you right) and throwing away a bunt attempt down the third base line. The game ended when Abraham Almonte tried to scamper back to the bag at third base after another Gyorko hit, but Adrian Gonzalez cut off Yasiel Puig‘s throw to retire Almonte (after an umpire’s review, of course). If that doesn’t happen, there are runners at first and third with two outs for Tommy Medica. Not the most dire of situations, but not something the Dodgers needed after getting swept by the Brewers.
Something that didn’t factor (much) into the outcome of the game came in the eighth inning. J.P. Howell had come in and recorded the final out of the seventh inning. He got the first out of the eighth with a 4-run lead. Then, for some inexplicable reason, Mattingly removed Howell in favor of Brandon League (and Miguel Rojas on a double-switch). League would allow a run to score. I can’t for the life of me figure out why he made the switch, but in closer game, it could have come back to bite the Dodgers. Donnie Ball at its finest (worst).
Erisbel Arruebarrena, in the starting lineup after being recalled, made a fine defensive play in this game. He made a tough play look routine, which is why he should get the lion’s share of playing time at shortstop until Hanley Ramirez comes back. He also had an RBI single and walk.
The Dodgers improve to 71-56 on the season. The Giants and Cubs are still in a rain delay, with Chicago leading 2-0 in the middle of the fifth inning. If they call the game, the Dodgers would be back to 4.5 games ahead in the NL West. Roberto Hernandez (7-8, 3.72 ERA) takes on old friend Eric Stults (5-13, 4.64) on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific time.