Padres Jump Out Early, Hang on for 9-7 win

Another short effort by a starter and another rousing rally but this time it fell short despite a pair of homers by Shawn Green and a single shot by Jayson Werth. Odalis Perez lasted only four innings and the Dodgers trailed 5-0 when he left. The Dodgers dropped to 83-60, losing the opener of a four-game series against the third-place Padres 9-7.

Perez (6-5) hasn't won in a month and over his last five games his ERA is 8.57, having been unable to pitch past the fifth inning in four of them.

The Dodger rotation has recorded a 6.19 earned-run average with only four quality starts in 12 games in September, during which the team is 6-6. The rotation's ERA over the last 21 games is 6.32 while the team has gone 13-12.

Kaz Ishii has been demoted to the bullpen (again) because of his erratic performance, Jeff Weaver was hit hard in his last two starts, Hideo Nomo has a team-high 7.73 ERA and Perez has a 7.07 ERA in his last three outings.

The Padres took command, 5-0, in a five-run fourth during which they sent 10 batters to the plate and had four hits, including a homer, and also benefited from three walks, a wild pitch and an error.

Shawn Green helped Los Angeles fight back, hitting his 24th and 25th homers. Jayson Werth hit his 14th homer and second in two games.

Perez didn't pitch well and the Dodger bullpen followed suit. Elmer Dessens gave up a homer, after Werth's homer in the fifth had cut San Diego's lead to 5-3.

Scott Stewart then allowed a three-run home run, pushing the lead to 9-4 before the Dodgers put together a three-run rally in their half of the inning.

Cesar Izturis, Werth and Adrian Beltre contributed run-scoring singles as the Dodgers pulled to within 9-7 and loaded the bases with two out.

Robin Ventura, the major leagues' active leader with 18 grand slams (third all-time), hit for Stewart but he struck out. Even heros fail now and again,

Shawn Green's seven game hitting streak ended but he is batting .424 (14 for 33) over the last nine games. He has reached base safely by a hit or walk in 19 of his last 21 games, during which he is batting .311 (23 for 74).