Dodgers reach new depths in 9-2 blowout loss

USA TODAY Sports

After Capuano's early exit, the Dodgers needed five relief pitchers to pitch the final seven innings of their blowout loss to the Padres at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers were doomed from the start on Tuesday, as Chris Capuano's first start of the season morphed from merely bad to horrific as he left with a left calf strain in the Padres' 9-2 trouncing of Los Angeles. The third consecutive loss dropped the Dodgers to .500 (7-7) on the season.

The deadline may have been Apr. 15, but the Dodgers' bullpen got taxed to the hilt on Tuesday. Capuano appeared to suffer his injury on the final play of the second inning, covering first base on a ground out. It marked the second consecutive inning Capuano had an awkward play at first base to end the inning. After allowing five hits and a walk to score four runs in the opening frame, Capuano fell down as he covered first on the inning ending grounder. But though he ended the inning on his back, there was nothing hurt except for maybe his pride.

Capuano stayed in the game to open the third inning, but appeared to be off mechanically as he walked Jesus Guzman to lead off the inning. Capuano exited after issuing the walk, leaving the final 21 outs for the beleaguered bullpen to record. The Dodgers had no long man to turn to on Tuesday, because he had already started the game.

Matt Guerrier allowed an inherited run to score but otherwise didn't allow much in his two scoreless innings. Josh Wall, who threw 17 pitches Monday night, threw 29 more in his two innings. Though he gave up three runs, Wall was likely the sacrificial bridge needed to prevent overuse of the rest of the staff.

Paco Rodriguez, Kenley Jansen, and Brandon League pitched the final three innings really out of necessity even with such a large deficit.

The Dodgers were held in check by Jason Marquis, who put up a performance reminiscent of his 2009 shutout at Dodger Stadium while with the Rockies. Marquis allowed just one run on three hits, and had retired 12 straight before giving up a two-out double to Carl Crawford in the eighth inning.

Tuesday marked the opposite of the Dodgers' offensive struggles of late. Instead of getting runners on base and stranding them, the Dodgers tried a new approach of simply not putting people on base. They amassed three hits, a walk, and a hit by pitch in the first eight innings.

With the game all but decided quite early, there wasn't much drama. But there were a pair of quirky things. For one, catcher Ramon Hernandez played first base in the ninth inning. It is the eighth straight season Hernandez has played at least one game at first base, a position he has played a total of 46 games, including 30 starts, in his career.

Also, this:

Tuesday's particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Jason Marquis (1-1): 7⅔ IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

LP - Chris Capuano (0-1): 2+ IP, 5 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks

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