Roberto Hernandez struggles in Dodgers’ 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres

first_imgPHOTO GALLERY “We lost by three and we gave away three,” Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. “That one hurts.” Hernandez allowed five runs for the second consecutive game. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly pulled Hernandez in the third inning, before his first turn to bat, and tasked five relievers with the chore of keeping the game close. They might have pulled it off if not for a three-run third inning, lowlighted by two Ramirez errors. Clayton Kershaw was on the mound at Dodger Stadium two days ago, which has become an exercise so predictable you can set your watch to it. The only suspense is if the other team will get a hit, as evidenced by a collective groan from the denizens when the Padres broke up Kershaw’s latest no-hit bid. When Roberto Hernandez is pitching, or the ball is rolling to Hanley Ramirez, the suspense is greater. And when these things happen on consecutive days ‑ Kershaw at his best one day, Ramirez and Hernandez at their worst the next ‑ the Dodgers look like two completely different teams. Such was the case as the San Diego Padres won 6-3, ending the Dodgers’ four-game winning streak before an announced crowd of 45,213. With two outs, a ground ball by Rymer Liriano squirted under Ramirez’s glove and into right field. Alexi Amarista followed with a clean single. Hernandez got two strikes on Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner, then hung a slider that Cashner smashed for a two-run double. Cashner went to third base when Ramirez dropped a catchable relay throw from the outfield, then scored on a single by Cory Spangenberg. The three runs were all unearned, courtesy of Ramirez’s team-leading 15th and 16th errors of the season. “Well we’ve been playing like this all year,” Mattingly said in response to a question of Ramirez’s defense. “He made an error tonight and it ended up being a costly one, but it’s not something that all of a sudden you just change what you’ve done all year long over one game. “We try to get offense from that spot; he’s the guy that can do it.” Ramirez, who was 4 for 4 the night before, looked like a different player himself. He went 0 for 4 and left six runners on base in addition to the two errors. Mattingly wouldn’t even address a question of whether he’ll stick with Hernandez, who is due three more starts by the end of the season. In his last four starts, Hernandez is 1-3 and his ERA has risen from 3.72 to 4.31. The veteran right-hander has regressed since his impressive first two starts after the Dodgers obtained him to replace Josh Beckett. “I’m not worried,” Hernandez said in Spanish. “I don’t have any control over that.” The Padres’ five runs were more than enough for Cashner (3-7). The right-hander has allowed only four runs in three starts against the Dodgers this season; this was his first win. Gonzalez’s 23rd home run of the season, a two-run blast to right field in the sixth inning, accounted for both Dodgers runs against Cashner. By then, the Dodgers were trailing 5-2. Hernandez would have had enough time to settle into the clubhouse and watch the San Francisco Giants pile on against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Giants’ 5-1 win narrowed the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West to 2 1/2 games. The Dodgers had a couple chances to narrow the gap. Matt Kemp followed Gonzalez’s home run with a double to left-center field, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. But he was called out when he was struck on the foot by a ground ball. Juan Uribe grounded out to end the inning. In the seventh inning, leadoff singles by Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis gave the Dodgers runners on first and second base with none out. Pinch hitter Joc Pederson flew out, Dee Gordon grounded into a forceout and Ramirez grounded out to end the inning. Pederson is batting .133 (2 for 15) since making his debut as a September call-up. “You would rather have Andre (Ethier) up with the game on the line in the ninth than Joc,” Mattingly said, “so that’s kind of the thinking there, is who do you save for the biggest at-bat in the ninth?” Ethier and Justin Turner got the pinch-hitting assignments in the ninth inning. Turner’s single off Padres closer Kevin Quackenbush scored Uribe with the Dodgers’ final run. Quackenbush came back to strike out Gordon and got Ramirez to fly out to end the game.BOX SCOREcenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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