The Dodgers bullpen hit a sizable bump in the road after nearly a few weeks of goodwill, allowing six runs in the final three innings in a 10-7 loss to the Padres in the opener of a four-game series at Petco Park in San Diego.
Up 7-4 in the sixth inning, the Dodgers allowed single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, the latter a towering home run to near the top of the Western Metal Supply Building in the left field corner by Yangervis Solarte.
Pitching with a one-run lead in the eighth inning, Jim Johnson allowed a leadoff walk then a two-run home run to light-hitting Jedd Gyorko, giving the Padres the lead. Later in the inning, San Diego would single, double and triple against Juan Nicasio for two more runs, giving the Padres more than enough cushion for the ninth.
The Dodgers bullpen had allowed all of two runs in 26⅔ innings in the Dodgers last nine games, before Thursday night's debacle.
Seager's memorable debut
The Dodgers trailed 4-0 early, but Corey Seager, making his major league debut, started the comeback in the fifth inning with a double into the right field corner against Colin Rea for his first major league hit. He then scored on a single off the pitcher by Joc Pederson, giving the Dodgers their first run.
In the sixth inning the Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out, then pulled to within a run on an RBI ground out by Scott Van Slyke. That brought up Seager, who worked the count to 3-0 against fellow left-hander Marc Rzepcynski then used his green light to drive a single into center field, scoring two runs and giving the Dodgers a 5-4 lead.
He scored later in what would become a five-run sixth, giving the Dodgers a 7-4 advantage.
Seager is just the fifth Dodger since 1914 with two hits and two RBI in his major league debut, and the first since Russell Martin in 2008.
Seager is expected to start at third base on Friday night.
Chase Utley had two hits, a double and a walk. Carl Crawford had two hits and a double as well.
In the sixth inning with Justin Upton on first base, Jedd Gyorko grounded into what would have been the first double play in Seager's career, a 6-4-3 twin killing. Only Upton was called safe by second base umpire Chris Conroy.
Amazingly, even though replays showed Utley's foot on second base as he received the throw - and even if he wasn't on the bag he was standing over the base well ahead of Upton, who should have been out on the neighborhood play that is not able to be reviewed - the safe call was upheld, and the Padres tacked on a run later in the inning to cut the lead to 7-5.
Even Upton knew he should have been out.
After the game, Mattingly told reporters of his exchange with Conroy, as shown on SportsNet LA.
"He told me he didn't believe in the neighborhood play, so I guess he changed the rules tonight, so it's something for the league to think about, really. I didn't realize that he could actually change the rules during the game," Mattingly said. "He told me he didn't believe in the neighborhood play. Jim Joyce believed in it the other day against the Cubs."
Latos ineffective again
Mat Latos allowed two doubles and a single for two runs in the first inning, then four singles, including three with two outs in the second inning for two more runs, putting the Dodgers in an early 4-0 hole.
Latos was pulled after four innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts, failing to complete five innings for a fourth straight start. He has a 6.56 ERA as a Dodger in five starts, and the jury should still be out on whether he even gets a sixth.
Mike Bolsinger has the chance to pitch his way back into the starting rotation with a strong outing on Friday night, or at least should in a just world. James Shields starts the second game of the series for the Padres.
Home runs: Yangervis Solarte (12), Jedd Gyorko (11)
WP - Kevin Quackenbush (3-2): 2 IP, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
LP - Jim Johnson (2-6): .. IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk
Sv - Joaquin Benoit (2): 1 IP, 1 strikeout