Jun 22, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Eric Stults (53) pitches during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Right before the Padres took on the Dodgers at Petco looking for a series victory, there was some big news off the field. Josh Byrnes was relieved of his general manager duties before the 1:10 tilt.
Then the game started, and the Padres proved why Byrnes had been let go, squeaking out one measly run and ruining a strong start from Eric Stults in a 2-1 losing effort. The Padres managed only four hits on the afternoon.
Even thought he picked up his 10th loss on the season, Stults shined. The Dodgers scored in the top of the first on an Adrian Gonzalez ground out and Dee Gordon singled in Scott Van Slyke in the second inning, but Stults settled in after that. The lefty threw seven innings of six-hit ball, striking out five.
The strong pitching of Stults gave the Padres’ offense a chance to break through, but their struggles at the plate continued. San Diego’s first hit of the game came courtesy of Chris Denorfia, as he singled to lead off the fourth inning. Carlos Quentin walked to bring up Tommy Medica with a one-out chance to score, but Hyun-Jin Ryu got Medica to ground out and Rene Rivera to fly out as the threat ended.
The Padres finally got on the board in the sixth inning, as Denorfia led off with a double. A pair of ground-outs followed, and Denorfia scored on the second to cut the lead to 2-1.
San Diego had one baserunner combined in the seventh and eighth innings, coming off of a walk. Nothing came from that walk as the Padres found themselves with their backs against the wall in the ninth. Kenley Jansen, who was 1-2 in save opportunities against the Padres on Friday and Saturday, dominated the San Diego hitters. Jansen struck out all three batters swinging as he closed out the game, and the series.
The competition doesn’t get easier for San Diego as they travel up to San Francisco tomorrow for a three-game set with the Giants. San Francisco has been slumping as of late but are still on tops in the NL West. Monday’s probable starters are Andrew Cashner and Matt Cain.