Daniel Powell 8:36 a.m., Dec. 21
Clayton Richard has been effective as late, winning in 8 of his last 10 decisions, but he didn't appear very sharp on Wednesday. Richard gave up 6 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits in only 3 2/3 innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers took the second game of the three-game series, beating the Padres 8-2.
The Dodgers got off to a fast start when with one out, Nick Punto singled an then Matt Kemp also singled with Punto going to third base. A single by former Padre Adrian Gonzalez scored Punto with Kemp taking third.
Hanley Ramirez then singled to left field, scoring Kemp. The Dodgers were out in front of the Padres 2-0 before the Padres even came to bat.
In the top of the third inning, the Dodgers added a run when Nick Punto got on with a bunt single. After Matt Kemp grounded out, moving Punto to second base, Adrian Gonzalez singled to left field and Punto scored again making 3-0, Dodgers.
The Dodgers then broke it open in the top of the fourth inning. Juan Rivera led off with a home run over the left field fence, his 8th of the season.
Matt Treanor reached second base on a fielding error by Jesus Guzman, and after Aaron Harang struck out trying to sacrifice bunt Treanor to third base, Elian Herrera popped out and it looked like Richard might get out of it lightly. But Nick Punto hit an infield single, moving Treanor to third base, and the Dodgers remained alive in the inning.
Then came the big blow, when Matt Kemp doubled, scoring Tranor and Punto. Nick Vincent then relieved Richard and retired Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning, but the Dodgers led 6-0.
"I didn't think Clayton got hit all that hard until the home run and the ball that [Jesus Guzman] couldn't handle. Up until then [the Dodgers] first runs were from a lot of soft hits. But that's baseball, that happens," Padres manager Buddy Black said after the game.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Dodgers made it a blowout. With Anthony Bass on the mound in relief for the Padres, Aaron Harang opened the frame with a double. After Elian Herrera struck out swinging, Nick Punto finally hit it to the wrong spot and shortstop Everth Cabrera got Aaron Harang trying to get to third base.
With Nick Punto on first base, Matt Kemp struck again, belting a shot to dead center field for his 20th home run of the year. The Dodgers took an 8-0 lead on the Padres.
The Padres finally got a scoring chance against Harang in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, and Will Venable hit back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases and Harang then left the game for reliever Shawn Tolleson.
Tolleson then struck out Jesus Guzman and got Cameron Maybin to pop out to end the threat. Harang went 5 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and walking four while striking out three.
"I think Harang was good enough," Buddy Black said post-game. The sinker came in to play a little bit today, he got ball in on our hands with the fastball, threw some good sliders when he needed to, some change-ups, his mix of pitches were solid. We just didn't see him tonight."
In the bottom of the second inning, the Padres finally got on the board. With Tolleson still pitching, Andy Parrino Walked.
Everth Cabrera struck out and Logan Forsythe grounded into a force play, Parrino out at second with Forsythe safe at first base. With two outs, Chase Headley then doubled, plating Forsythe, and Yasmani Grandal singled home Headley, and the Dodgers led 8-2 after 7 innings.
But the scoring was done. The Dodgers were kept from scoring any more runs and the Padres went down in order for the last six outs from Dodgers relievers. Aaron Harang evened his record at 10-10 while Clayton Richard fell to 14-13.
In the last game of the series on Thursday, the Dodgers will send Chris Capuano (11-11, 3.74) to the hill to face Casey Kelly (2-2, 5.55) of the Padres. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 PM PDST, and can be heard on radio XX 1090 AM, or seen on Fox Sports San Diego. Time Warner customers will be able to watch NFL football tonight (took them long enough), but if that game gets boring, you're out of luck trying to toggle to see what the Padres and the Dodgers are up to.