The Dodgers scored first and they scored last, but the middle of the game and another poor start by Dan Haren spelled doom for in a 6-3 loss to the Padres on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
As Haren learned with his last outing, an eight-strikeout, eight-run affair in Colorado, more strikeouts don't necessarily mean better results, especially when home runs aren't limited. So even though Haren struck out the first two batters of the second inning, one reached base on a wild pitch, followed by a home run to right field by the diminutive Alexi Amarista, his third of the season for a 2-1 Padres lead.
It was the 19th home run of the season allowed by Haren and 17th in his last 12 starts.
Haren managed to get through four innings allowing just those two runs, but also needed 83 pitches to do so, laboring all night. The fifth inning began with a single, then back-to-back RBI doubles by Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin. That was enough to chase Haren, who turned in his shortest outing of an increasingly disappointing season.
Even as his peripheral numbers were declining in May, Haren was at least logging innings, lasting at least six innings in 11 of his first 12 starts. But in his last seven starts Haren has lasted six innings only twice, paying the price for his decline.
San Diego added a pair of runs against Jamey Wright in the sixth, then down 6-1 the Dodgers rallied by two runs in the seventh.
They put the tying runs on base in the eighth but didn't score, leaving the bases loaded.
But even though the Dodgers have scored six runs in its last 34 innings, it's hard to fault the offense when they allowed six runs to a team scoring three per game.
The Dodgers and Padres are at it again on Saturday night, with Paul Maholm making his first start for Los Angeles since May 14. Ian Kennedy starts for San Diego, his first start at Dodger Stadium since June 11, 2013, a game that featured a large brawl with the Diamondbacks and a 10-game suspension for Kennedy.
Home run: Alexi Amarista (3)
WP - Jesse Hahn (5-2): 6 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Dan Haren (8-6): 4+ IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Sv - Huston Street (24): 1 IP, 1 strikeout