NL West champion Dodgers lose 2-0 to Padres

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 21, 2013
The mound felt familiar to Edinson Volquez even if the visitor's dugout didn't. The Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander started his first game against the San Diego Padres since they released him on Aug. 25. Volquez pitched well. The Padres' Robbie Erlin pitched better. Erlin allowed four hits over 7 2-3 innings and fellow rookie Jedd Gyorko hit his 20th homer to lead the Padres to a 2-0 victory over the NL West champion Dodgers on Friday night. ''After the first inning, I was kind of all over the place,'' Volquez (9-12) said. ''Then I made an adjustment and the last couple of innings it started to get in line and I pitched better. ''The other pitcher pitched pretty good, too.'' Volquez went 6 1-3 innings, allowing one earned run and six hits with six strikeouts. He walked four. ''I'm really happy with how he pitched,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''Just keep playing because you don't know what's going to happen in the next eight days.'' The Dodgers, fresh from clinching the division title on Thursday at Arizona, let their backups get the playing time. No Dodgers regulars were in the starting lineup after they secured their 12th NL West championship since divisional play started in 1969. Erlin (3-3) matched his career-high with seven strikeouts as only three Dodgers reached second base against him. Gyorko homered in the fifth inning, becoming the fifth rookie second baseman ever to reach that milestone. Gyorko gave the Padres a 2-0 lead when he hit a fastball from Volquez 417 feet to center field. Even in the loss, Volquez could be making a case to be included on the Dodgers' postseason roster. ''You usually don't use a fifth starter in the playoffs, unless you have him in the bullpen,'' Mattingly said. ''We'll see. We'll talk about that when we get to roster time.'' Gyorko is the first second baseman to hit 20 homers in franchise history. Volquez impressed Bud Black, his former manager. ''He pitched deep into the game and gave up two runs,'' Black said. ''Robbie was just a little bit better tonight.'' Erlin is 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA in four starts since being recalled on Aug. 25, his fourth stint with the Padres. Huston Street worked the ninth to notch his 32nd save in 33 chances after Luke Gregerson recorded an out in the eighth. The Dodgers had runners on first and third in the ninth but Street struck out pinch-hitters Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. Mattingly said while catching the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals for home-field advantage in the playoffs would be beneficial, that didn't trump resting his starters. ''The biggest thing we wanted to do was to give guys that have been just grinding it out for months, and are pretty banged up, they just needed a day off,'' Mattingly said. Skip Shumaker had three of the Dodgers' six hits, including two doubles. NOTES: Mattingly will employ a six-man rotation over the final nine games. LHP Clayton Kershaw, who was pushed back from his regular turn, starts Saturday against the Padres. ... Dodgers OF Andre Either missed his seventh straight game with a sprained ankle. Either did take batting practice. ... Dodgers 1B Adrian Gonzalez was out of the starting lineup with a tender quad. ... Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez was rested because of sore hamstring and back. ... Before the game the Padres honored the Municipal de Tijuana Seleccionados which recently finished third in the Little League World Series.
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