Ken Leighton 9 a.m., March 24
Padres rookie Casey Kelly (pictured) is a very young and promising pitcher, coming over to the Padres in a trade with the Boston Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez has since moved on and is now with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Thursday night, Kelly faced Gonzalez for the first time and Gonzalez singled and was intentionally walked in three plate appearances against him. But Kelly didn’t lose the game to Gonzalez, he lost the game to one bad inning, as the Los Angeles Dodgers went on to beat the San Diego Padres Thursday night, 8-4.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Padres got going when Jesus Guzman opened with a walk. Yonder Alonso then drilled a double to right field, with Guzman taking third base and no one out.
Everth Cabrera hit a soft roller to third base which froze Guzman and Cabrera was thrown out. Dodgers starting pitcher Chris Capuano then pitched around Andy Parrino, walking him to get to Padres pitcher Casey Kelly with the bases loaded and one out.
Capuano then got Kelley to ground into an easy double play. The Padres wasted a great opportunity to get up on Capuano early and after two innings there was no score.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Dodgers got a run. Adrian Gonzalez singled to right field, and then Casey Kelly struck out Hanley Ramirez and got Shane Victorino to fly out.
But with two outs, Luis Cruz singled, putting Gonzalez on second base, which was followed by A.J. Ellis singling to left field and scoring Guzman. The Dodgers led the Padres 1-0 after 3 1/2 innings.
Kelly got into a jam in the top of the fifth inning, all with two outs. Matt Kemp doubled, and then Kelly intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez. After hitting Hanley Ramirez to load the bases, Kelly hit and Cruz scored and that was the end of the evening for Kelly.
“That’s been the biggest part, to try and minimize damage. You can give up one or two, but the crooked numbers will get you,” Kelly said in the clubhouse after the game.
Nick Vincent relieved Kelly and gave up a single up the middle to Luis Cruz, plating Gonzalez and Ramirez. A.J. Ellis then singled to left, scoring Victorino, and the Dodgers were up 5-0 after 4 1/2 innings.
Miles Mikolas relieved Vincent in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Andre Ethier doubled and Adrian Gonzalez singled home Ethier and the Dodgers added to their lead to make it 6-0.
The Padres staged a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning when Chase Headley led off with a walk. Yasmani Grandal singled, moving Headley to second base. Chris Capuano then uncorked a wild pitch, moving Headley and Grandal to second and third base with still no outs.
Jesus Guzman popped out, but that was all for Capuano who was relieved by Paco Rodriguez. After Yonder Alonso struck out, Everth Cabrera hit a little dribbler off of the bat for an infield single, but it couldn’t advance the runners.
With the bases loaded, Carlos Quentin pinch-hit for Andy Parrino, and Jamey Wright was brought in to relieve Rodriguez. Wright hit Quentin with a pitch, which brought home Headley and the Padres were finally on the board.
Alexi Amarista came in to pinch-hit for Miles Mikolas, but grounded out to end the threat. At the end of six innings, the Padres trailed the Dodgers 6-1.
In the eighth inning, the Dodgers added on again. With Tommy Layne pitching, Elian Herrera and Nick Punto hit back-to-back singles. Andre Ethier grounded to shortstop with Herrera taking third, Punto out at second on the fielder’s choice, and Ethier on first base.
Matt Kemp then reached on a fielding error by Alexi Amarista, scoring Herrera. Layne then retired Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, but the Dodgers took a 7-1 lead over the Padres.
The Padres refused to give up. In the bottom of the eighth inning, with one out and Ronald pitching, Yonder Alonso doubled to right field and Everth Cabrera drew a walk. Mark Kotsay then pitch-hit in the pitcher’s spot and doubled home Alonso and Cabrera.
After Alexi Amarista struck out, Will Venable pinch-hit for Chris Denorfia and singled home Kotsay. After eight innings, the Padres closed the gap and trailed the Dodgers 7-4.
The Dodgers got a run back in the top of the ninth. With Cory Burns on in relief, Shane Victorino opened the inning with a double, and went to third on a ground out by Luis Cruz.
Burns then threw a wild pitch and Victorino scored. Going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Dodgers had an 8-4 lead on the Padres.
The Padres couldn’t manage to sustain a rally in the last frame, and the score held. For the Dodgers, it meant closing their deficit to three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals to try and get the last wildcard playoff spot with six games remaining.
“One thing I came away with, six rookie pitchers against a lineup that we’re going to see moving forward for the next number of years. That was a great experience for Casey tonight, to go against that lineup to try and work himself out of a jam in the fifth inning,” manager Buddy Black said after the game, accentuating the positive.
Logan Forsythe was scratched from the starting lineup over an hour before game time with a sore right knee, and Andy Parrino was penciled in at second base. “He did it in early work, didn’t feel quite right to go. Day to day we’ll see his condition more,” Buddy Black said postgame.
Friday, the San Francisco Giants are San Diego for three games to close out the last home stand of the 2012 season. The first game will feature Andrew Werner (2-2, 4.64) for the Padres going up against Ryan Vogelsong (13-9, 3.58) of the Giants. First pitch is at 7:05 PM PDST carried by Fox Sports San Diego or on radio at XX 1090 AM.