In a game that featured players playing -- sort of -- out of position, the Dodgers found themselves running out of time, as the Padres won 5-0 to gain a series split, essentially knocking four precious games off the schedule, keeping the Dodgers eight games out.
In the fourth inning, with the infield shifted toward right field with Adrian Gonzalez batting, Gonzalez hit a would-be double play ball to shortstop, but when Jamey Carroll threw to second base his pivot man was not Ryan Theriot (he was shifted to short right field for the pull-happy Gonzalez), but rather Casey Blake, who couldn't get the ball out of his glove in time to turn the easy twin killing.
In the ninth inning, with Tony Gwynn on first base, Chris Denorfia chopped a ball to third base -- you know, the infield -- that somehow got over Casey Blake's head, then rolled down the line, skidding past left fielder Scott Podsednik, too. In the end, Denorifa ended up with an inside the park home run, in one of the most generous scoring decisions I have ever seen. The last inside-the-park home run hit at Dodger Stadium was by Blake DeWitt, on May 6, 2008.
Oh yeah, did I mention Andre Ethier was playing first base in the ninth inning, for the first time in his career? Since James Loney made the final out of the eighth inning, he was removed as Octavio Dotel was brought into pitch. Loney's out was his third of the night with two runners on base, representing the tying run. He came close once, with a fly ball to the right field wall, but that turned out to be the closest the Dodgers came to scoring all night.
Of course, none of these plays mattered much anyway, since the Dodgers couldn't muster a single run.
Kevin Correia pitched 5 2/3 innings for the win. He gave up several fly balls, including three to the warning track, but the Dodgers never scored off him. Correia didn't strike out a single batter, the 14th time a starting pitcher has won this season without a strikeout, and the second time for Correia in his last three starts.
The Dodgers next welcome the Nationals for three, starting Friday night with Clayton Kershaw facing John Lannan.
WP - Kevin Correia (8-7): 5 2/3 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk
LP - Chad Billingsley (9-6): 6 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Heath Bell (31): 1 1/3 IP, 1 walk, 1 strikeout