Jonathan Broxton Hammered as Dodgers Lose 8-2

Closer Jonathan Broxton was hammered for four runs in the sixth inning, turning a 2-1 Los Angeles lead into a 6-1 deficit and their ninth loss in 14 games. Starter Clayton Kershaw worked four innings and allowed four runs and an unearned run. Los Angeles tied the game in the bottom of the first, then took a 2-1 lead in the second but they never threatened again.

The Dodgers collected five hits, four of them in the first two innings and the last 24 batters went down in order save for Jamey Carroll's single in the sixth inning. They left three runners on base, one of them in scoring position and that in the first inning.

Juan Uribe had an RBI double in the first and Rod Barajas' sac fly in the second drove in the final run. Marcus Thames doubled and both Rafael Furcal and Dioner Navarro accounted for theh five Dodgers hits.

Mike McDonald, Matt Guerrier and Scott Elbert worked scoreless innings. Stuart Pomeranz allowed a three-run home run and Carlos Monasterios gave up two runs in the ninth.

San Diego evened their record at 6-6-1 while Los Angeles fell to 5-9. Attendance was 3,858.

 The Lineup:

Rafael Furcal ss
 Ivan De Jesus ss
Casey Blake 3b
 Jamey Carroll 3b
Andre Ethier rf
 Xavier Paul rf
Juan Uribe 2b
 Aaron Miles 2b
James Loney 1b
 Russ Mitchell 1b
Marcus Thames lf
 Jamie Hoffmann lf
Dioner Navarro c
 Hector Gimenez c
Rod Barajas dh
Trayvon Robinson cf
 Trent Oeltjen cf
Clayton Kershaw p
 Mike MacDougal p
 Jonathan Broxton p (L)
 Stuart Pomeranz p
 Matt Guerrier p
 Carlos Monasterios p 
The Game
As happened the day before against Milwaukee, the Dodgers' defense had the yips in the first inning and it coast starter Clayton Kershaw a run. With one out and a runner on first with a walk, third baseman Casey Blake short-hopped a throw to first that James Loney couldn't come up with, then fumbled a ground ball for a second consecutive error to load the bases. A ground ball scored the run before the inning ended.

The Dodgers quickly tied the game on a leadoff single by Rafael Furcal and Juan Uribe's two-out double into the left-field corner. They jumped into the lead in the second on a leadoff double by Marcus Thames a single by Dioner Navarro and Rod Barajas' sac fly.

Furcal made a highlight film play with two out in the third and a runner at first. He went into the hole, grabbed the ball and in the same motion, made a turning, leaping throw to second for a force to end the inning.

The game settled into a battle of left-handers with both Kershaw and San Diego's Wade LeBlanc dominating their opponents. Kershaw, because of the long first inning, ran out of pitches in the fifth inning after a groundout and a walk. Mike MacDougal replaced him and walked the first man he faced. A ground ball to Uribe at second looked like a double play but he fumbled it just for a moment and settled for a force. With runners at first and third, MacDougal a pop to Furcal ended the inning.

After five innings, as the old poem goes, "there now came to a point in the day that is known as the children's hour." Both clubs slipped in many new, mostly young, players an occurrence that takes place in almost every game over the first half (or more) of the season).

Jonathan Broxton took over on the mound and Jarrett Hoffpauir whacked his first pitch into the Dodgers bullpen, tying the game and eliminating a possibility that Kershaw might get the win. After a single, Broxton had rookie Tony Rizzo picked off second but second baseman Aaron Miles throw was wide of third and when the runner continued around third and toward home, third baseman Jamey Carroll played the carom off the wall beside the dugout and threw him out at the plate.

Broxton continued to struggle, allowing another single, drilled Everth Cabrera in the back with a pitch and then walked the bases loaded. Broxton had faced five batters. He allowed three hits, including a home run, a walk and a hit batsman.

He was replaced by Stuart Pomeranz who allowed a sac fly to put the Padres up 3-2. Cedric Hunter then blasted a ball over the 380-foot mark in right center for a three run home run and just that quickly it was 6-2 San Diego.

Pomeranz, 26, was signed as a free agent in the off-season after playing in the St. Louis and Colorado minor league system. He was 1-6, 3.67 for the Rockies AA Tulsa team in 2010.

Scott Elbert worked a scoreless eighth inning. It wasn't a thing of beauty but he didn't allow a hit, walked one and struck out one. He threw 24 pitches, 12 balls and 12 strikes. It was a marked improvement over his last appearance March 2nd when he faced five batters and walked four of them.



Garland Out 4-6 Weeks
Jon Garland, who hasn't missed a start due to an injury for nine seasons, does, indeed, have a strained oblique muscle that is expected to sideline him from four to six weeks, an MRI confirmed. According to manager Don Mattingly John Ely and non-roster invitee Tim Redding will take over Garland's Spring Training innings. The Dodgers won't need a fifth starter until April 12. Mattingly said "if there's a silver lining, that's it."

It's possible Garland could be back about then. General manager Ned Colletti said the Dodgers might start the season with 11 pitchers and call up a starter for April 12, if needed. The problem with oblique tears, especially for pitchers, is that they need to heal completely, otherwise they are likely to recur.

Garland was signed to be the fifth starter and Vicente Padilla was to be moved into relief work. Then Padilla underwent surgery on his arm for an entrapped nerve last month and is not expected to be available until May 1.

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