The Dodgers were able to survive one poor, shortened start this weekend in San Diego, but they weren't able to overcome another. Aaron Harang was subpar on Sunday as the Dodgers dropped their series finale to the Padres 8-4 at Petco Park.
Harang allowed two runs in the first inning, the first time the Padres led in the four-game series, and was never able to recover from there.
"He seemed behind in the count, and a little unsettled today," manager Don Mattingly said. "They clipped him for a couple early, then kept nicking him."
The Padres added single runs in the third and fourth innings, and Harang was done without completing the fifth inning. He allowed seven hits, five walks, and he hit a batter, allowing 13 baserunners while recording 13 outs. The right-hander said he wasn't able to hit his spots, and the San Diego native and San Diego State alum admitted to some anxiety pitching at the park he called home as a Padre in 2011.
"I felt like I was pitching tense out there," Harang said. "When you do that, you're going to scuffle, and miss location, up and down in the zone. One thing led to another, and I just had to battle through it."
It didn't help that the Dodgers offense was mostly missing in action against Clayton Richard, who allowed all of two hits during his seven innings. One of those hits was a home run off the bat of Matt Kemp, who extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a two-run shot in the sixth inning.
"I'm feeling good right now. Hopefully I can continue to hit the ball like I have these last four days, and we'll see what happens," said Kemp, who is hitting .412/.389/.824 with two home runs in four games.
Kemp's home run pulled the Dodgers to within 4-2, but any comeback hopes were dashed when Chase Headley snapped his 0-for-12 start to the season with an eighth-inning grand slam off Scott Elbert.
Andre Ethier hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning, making today the first game in which both Ethier and Kemp homered since September 19, 2010.
"We didn't really do enough today. Early on we had pretty good at-bats, we hit a few balls right at people. We didn't scratch anything together," Mattingly said. "I thought that second time through we'd be better, and put some pressure on [Richard], but we really didn't get anything on him. They gave us some chances too."
The Padres made three errors on the day, and until the ninth inning the Dodgers reached base more times via error than via hit.
Lilly Allows Two Home Runs In Rehab Assignment
Ted Lilly allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, including two home runs, in six innings in his rehab assignment with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. But Mattingly was unconcerned with the results of the game than the health of Lilly, who remains in line to start on Saturday against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.
"Obviously if he would come back tomorrow with his neck killing him, that would set him back," Mattingly said. "More than anything, it's just getting him built up and not hurting after that. He's past this injury, and it's just about getting his arm strength up."
- Josh Lindblom pitched two more scoreless innings, walking two and striking out two. He has yet to allow a hit or a run this season, in four innings.
- James Loney was 0-for-4 Sunday and 0-for-12 in the series.
Juan Uribe is 1-for-12, and his one hit was the first hit off Richard on Sunday, in the fifht inning.
The Dodgers are off Monday, but host the Pittsburgh Pirates for three games beginning with Tuesday's home opener.
Home Runs: Matt Kemp (2), Andre Ethier (1); Andy Parrino (1), Chas Headley (1)
WP - Clayton Richard (1-0): 7 IP, 2 hits, 2 unearned runs, 3 strikeouts
LP - Aaron Harang (0-1): 4 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 5 walks, 6 strikeouts