The loss knocked the Dodgers deeper into third place a full game and one-half behind both San Diego and Arizona.
Maddux, who won his fifth straight game, faced only 12 batters the first four innings while throwing just 36 pitches, by which time the Padres had already tagged Randy Wolf with his fourth loss against seven wins and sent his earned run average over 4.00.
The Dodgers had three of their five hits off Maddux in the fifth but scored only one run. Kent and Luis Gonzalez opened with singles before Russell Martin brought in Kent with a sacrifice fly. Tony Abreu hit a two-out shot into the left-field corner but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple before Gonzalez crossed the plate.
Then, after Nomar Garciaparra doubled in the ninth, San Diego trotted out another Hall of Famer, Trevor Hoffman retired the next three batters to become the first man in major-league history to post 500 career saves.
The Dodgers are facing a three-game sweep in the final game of the season tonight, sending Hong-Chih Kuo out in his second start of the season to face Jake Peavy (7-1). Los Angeles has scored three runs in the last 19 innings and the 1-2 hitters in their lineup have gone cold.
The Padres continued their dominance of lefthanders (11-4) against Wolf, who was never on his game and was tagged for five runs before leaving after five.
Juan Pierre and Rafael Furcal, the 1-2 batters, are struggling and manager Grady Little may look longingly at Matt Kemp who is hitting .338 in Las Vegas and displaying extra-base power the club his lacking.
Jeff Kent snapped out of a 2-for-35 slump with three hits and his first home run (#9) in nearly three weeks. Russell Martin drove in Kent for his 40th RBI with a sac fly and that, for all intents and purposes, was the Dodger offense.
San Diego's Geoff Blum, who was hitting .184, and former Dodger Hiram Bocachica, hitting .091, were replacing a pair of injured regulars and between them they drove in all five runs.
Score by innings Los Angeles 000 010 100-2 San Diego 023 000 00x-5 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Pierre cf 4 0 1 0 .269 Furcal ss 4 0 0 0 .292 Garciaparra 1b 4 0 1 1 .280 Kent 2b 4 2 3 1 .265 Gonzalez lf 3 0 1 0 .284 Martin c 3 0 0 1 .310 Ethier rf 3 0 0 0 .272 Abreu 3b 3 0 1 0 .341 Wolf p 1 0 0 0 .087 Clark ph 1 0 0 0 .241 Tomko p 0 0 0 0 .000 Betemit ph 1 0 0 0 .187 Hendrickson p 0 0 0 0 .000 Totals 30 2 7 2 San Diego 31 5 9 5 2B- Abreu (7), Garciaparra (11). HR- Kent (9). RBI- Martin (40), Kent (33). SF= Martin. LOB- Los Angeles 4, San Diego 8. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Wolf (7-4) 5.0 8 5-5 3 6 4.03 Tomko 2.0 1 0-0 0 4 5.47 Hendrickson 1.0 0 0-0 2 1 4.09 T- 2:14. Att- 31,541.Elbert Out for the Season-- Left-hander Scott Elbert, probably the Dodgers' top pitching prospect, will miss the rest of the season after undergoing exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder. Doctors found scarring on Elbert's labrum, and he won't be allowed to begin a throwing program for several months. Elbert, the Dodgers' first-round draft pick (17th overall) in 2004, made three starts for Double-A Jacksonville early in the season. But he went to extended spring training in mid-April to try to work out the soreness in his shoulder and never rejoined the Suns.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Dodgers manager Grady Little met with Juan Pierre on before the game to discuss the center fielder's lack of production at the top of the order, where Pierre had gone hitless in four at-bats on Tuesday night while seeing a total of seven pitches. Pierre had three doubles and a triple in the first game of the Dodgers' current 10-game trip against Washington. But since then he is 5-for-32 over the next eight games and has a puny .298 on-base percentage having drawn just nine walks. ...Closer Takashi Saito threw his first side session since leaving Sunday's game at Pittsburgh with a tight left hamstring and will test his leg again today when he practices covering first base, and if that goes well, he likely will be available to pitch beginning Friday night against Toronto. ...Utility man Marlon Anderson, who underwent a second arthroscopic procedure May 11 to remove scar tissue from his right elbow, will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Las Vegas tonight. Rehabs for position players are limited to 20 days, and Anderson will probably use most of that to regain his batting eye.