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Dodgers have no use for borrowed time in yet another loss to Padres

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that saw the Dodgers strike out their third-most batters ever, they still managed to lose thanks to three straight walks, falling to the Padres 3-2 on a walk-off walk in 11 innings on Saturday night at Petco Park in San Diego.

The entire bottom of the 11th inning was so surreal even before the ending. One night after he hit a walk-off two-run homer, Melvin Upton Jr. looked like he did it again, this time to left field. Both team's television announcers - Charley Steiner for the Dodgers and Don Orsillo for the Padres - thought the ball was gone (hell, we all did!), yet it somehow died into the glove of Trayce Thompson on the warning track.

That left two outs and one on base for Chin-hui Tsao who had some margin for error. Then he walked Derek Norris. Then he walked Brett Wallace to load the bases. Then Tsao ran the count 3-0 to Yangervis Solarte, who started to back out of the box on Tsao's fourth pitch of the at-bat, which also was wide of the mark.

Game over, arguably in even more frustrating fashion than on Friday night, even though the Dodgers were living on borrowed time in a sense.

Tsao threw 26 pitches. He threw nine strikes. Tsao lost.

The Dodgers pitchers struck out 19 Padres on the night, the third-most in franchise history. They also lost their fourth game in a row.

Wood you rather?

Alex Wood was fantastic on Saturday. He didn't allow a hit until fourth inning, and didn't allow a run until the sixth inning. He struck out the side in the third and the fifth innings, and struck out two in the first, fourth and sixth. He ended his night with a new career high of 13 strikeouts, continuing a month-long stretch of steady improvement from the left-hander.

Wood allowed four hits and one walk in total, including allowing the first two runners to reach base in the seventh, which marked the end of his night.

Wood is the first Dodgers pitcher dating back to at least 1913 with 13 or more strikeouts in six or fewer innings.

One of Wood's runners scored later in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly, tying the game at 2-2 and leaving Wood with a no-decision.

We can talk about home and road splits all day, but the most disappointing thing about Alex Wood's Dodgers tenure had been his relative lack of strikeouts. He had a 24.2-percent strikeout rate in 2013-2014 with the Braves, but that dropped to 17.7 percent with Atlanta in 2015 before he was traded in July.

With the Dodgers, Wood struck out just 16.8 percent of his batters in the final two months last year, then posted a 16.7 percent in April 2016.

But whatever adjustment he made has worked wonders in his last five starts, beginning with April 29. He struck out nine twice during that span before setting his new career high with 13 on Saturday. In those five starts, Wood has 43 strikeouts and five walks in 30⅓ innings, to go with a 2.67 ERA.

With no wins, thanks to eight total runs of support in those five games while Wood was in the game.

The offense

In between Padres sacrifice flies in the sixth and seventh, the Dodgers plated two runs in the seventh inning. Adrian Gonzalez opened the inning with his second shift-beating single to left field of the night in his first start since Monday, then Trayce Thompson homered over the center field wall.

Those were their only two runs of the game.

Saturday marked the sixth straight start for Thompson, who is 6-for-20 (.300) during that span with three home runs. He has a team-leading six home runs and 14 RBI in May.

Up next

Kenta Maeda starts for the Dodgers in the series finale on Sunday afternoon, a 1:40 p.m. PT start at Petco Park. The Padres will turn to right-hander Colin Rea, going for the sweep

Saturday particulars

Home run: Trayce Thompson (7)

WP - Brad Hand (1-0): 2 IP, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

LP - Chin-hui Tsao (0-1): ⅔ IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 3 walks