The Dodgers followed a familiar script on Friday night, this time casting Matt Kemp as the lead character in a 5-1 Padres victory in the opener of a weekend series at Dodger Stadium, the fifth straight loss for Los Angeles.
Did you used to play for or manage the Dodgers in recent years? Then this is the week for you to return to Dodger Stadium. The visiting clubhouse worked wonders for old friend Don Mattingly for in the Marlins' first-ever four-game sweep of the Dodgers - okay maybe the results for Dee Gordon were mixed - and on Friday Kemp took his turn in the spotlight.
Kemp, who doubled and scored in the fourth inning for the Padres' first run, crushed a splitter from Chris Hatcher that didn't split, depositing it into the left field bullpen for a go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning, the latest in a growing line of pitches from Hatcher this season that didn't end up anywhere near where he wanted.
"I hung the absolute piss out of a split," Hatcher said after the game, as seen on SportsNet LA. "I'm very disappointed. I thought my stuff was the best it has been this year."
The most home runs Hatcher has allowed in a season is four, which he has done in each of the last two seasons, in 52 and 49 games, respectively. But this season Hatcher has allowed three home runs in his 12 games to go with his .558 slugging percentage against and 8.44 ERA.
Manager Dave Roberts said after the game that both Pedro Baez and Joe Blanton were unavailable on Friday, again per SportsNet LA.
Kemp now has 105 career home runs at Dodger Stadium, breaking his tie with Andre Ethier for fourth place in the history of the building, 25 behind all-time leader Eric Karros.
The Dodgers have lost five straight games at home for the first time since May 1-10, 2013.
The offense again failed to produce, with only a solo home run from a right-handed Yasmani Grandal in the sixth inning to show for their efforts. That came after the club couldn't score against Cesar Vargas, who pitched 5⅓ innings in just his second major league start, striking out six.
It wasted a strong outing from Alex Wood, who turned in his seventh quality start in seven tries at Dodger Stadium since joining the club. Wood struck out a season-high nine with just onee walk, allowing only one run in seven innings.
But in the end, the result was the same, which meant another loss for the Dodgers, who have nine runs scored in their five-game losing streak.
Ross Stripling starts on Saturday night, a 6:10 p.m. PT start, facing Colin Rea for the Padres.
Home runs: Yasmani Grandal (1); Matt Kemp (7)
WP - Ryan Buchter (1-0): ⅔ IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Chris Hatcher (2-3): 1 IP, 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikouts