Dan Haren sharp in debut as Dodgers cruise

Denis Poroy

Wednesday's 5-1 win in San Diego followed a familiar pattern.

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers followed their familiar formula to a tee on Wednesday night in their 5-1 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.

Dan Haren in his Dodgers debut was in complete control, pitching six innings without a walk. He allowed four hits, and the one run he did allow was unearned thanks to a catcher's interference call on A.J. Ellis - on a ball that appeared to be fouled by Seth Smith into the mitt of Ellis - the second straight night a non-reviewable catcher's interference call has gone against the Dodgers.

Haren kept San Diego off balance all night with pitches in the high-80s, and struck out six. Dodgers starting pitchers this season have allowed four runs in five games, including three earned runs, for a 0.91 ERA, with six walks and 30 strikeouts in 29⅔ innings.

The Dodgers scored first again, as they have in all five games. On Wednesday, the Dodgers plated three runs in the first thanks to the first four batters reaching base: Carl Crawford doubled, Yasiel Puig laid down a surprise bunt and was safe at first on a throwing error but still recorded the first sacrifice of his career, Hanley Ramirez doubled them both home, then scored on a single by Adrian Gonzalez.

After the Padres scored a run in the bottom of the fourth the Dodgers answered right back with a tally in the top of the fifth when Andre Ethier singled in Ramirez. That frame marked the end for Tyson Ross, who threw 100 pitches in his five innings.

Andrew Cashner, who threw six innings on Sunday night, remains the only opposing starter to last longer than five innings so far this season against the Dodgers, and even he was nearly at the end of his rope with 89 pitches through five.

"You make guys fight to get their outs," manager Don Mattingly said on Tuesday. "It's not designed as much 'Let's get this guy's pitch count up.' It's more having good at-bats, making guys fight for their outs. That translates into longer at-bats, tougher outs, then you end up getting the pitch count higher."

The bullpen followed Haren with three scoreless innings combined from four relievers, and the Dodgers even tacked on an insurance run in the eighth.

The result gave the Dodgers two wins in three games to capture the series in San Diego, their 10th consecutive trip to Petco Park without a series loss.

Now the Dodgers are 4-1 and finally get to play their first home game of the season.

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Dan Haren (1-0): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 unearned run, 6 strikeouts

LP - Tyson Ross (0-1): 5 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 4 walks, 7 strikeouts

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