Paradoxical Dodgers Lose 3-1 to San Diego

Clayton Kershaw alternates between brilliant and tentative. The 21-year-old (3-5) threw 83 pitches and left in the third inning in the second-shortest game of his 33 big league starts. He allowed three runs, five hits and four walks. The last place Padres used Kevin Correia on three days rest and he allowed Los Angles only a first inning run and won a 3-1 decision.

The Dodgers put Kershaw on alert when Hiroki Kuroda made his first start in nearly two months. Then to keep the rest of the rotation on their normal schedule, they skipped the youngster's start all together and he was pitching with eight days rest against the Padres.

Veterans have trouble when their schedule is interrupted and it obviously effected Clayton.

There is little talk now that the inconsistent Dodgers "are nearly as good without Ramirez" after scoring fewer than three runs for the eighth time in their last 13 games and 15th time overall. They came in leading the league in batting average, runs, hits and on-base percentage and were held to four hits over the first six innings and six hits overall.

Over the last 10 games, the inconsistent Dodgers are 6-4 while San Francisco and Jim Tracy's Colorado team have each won seven of 10. The Dodgers are still a Major League-best 23-9 at home and they have won three of their last five at Dodger Stadium, but they have gone 10-9 at home since the record-setting 13-0 start.

San Diego, whose pitching staff was tattered after their recent 18-inning game with Arizona, turned to Correia on short rest and he retired his final 15 batters he faced and did not allow a baserunner after giving up a leadoff single in the second inning. The right-hander threw 81 pitches, allowing one run and four hits without a walk in his 58th career start.

"It sounds cocky to say you expect to do well every time out, but at the same time, you have to have that confidence to think you can do well every time out," said Kershaw, who is younger than a number of players the Dodgers picked in the 2009 draft.

"No one looks at you as a young guy when you're pitching. You're up here for a reason, and people expect you to get people out. There's no free pass, just because you might be a bit younger than some of the other guys. It's frustrating no matter what age you are."

Kershaw allowed a pair of singles and a walk in his first 12 pitches and ended up allowing a pair of runs from that point without a ball being hit out of the infield.

After the 34-pitch first inning, Kershaw completely came apart in the third inning. He allowed only one run but gave up a pair of two-out walks and went 2-0 to pitcher Kevin Correia when manager Joe Torre has seen enough.

"It's something he has to deal with, and he will," said Torre. "He just had trouble throwing strikes. And it just appeared at times that he would just try to throw the ball harder." >br>
The Dodgers got their only run in the bottom half on Ethier's RBI single. Juan Pierre opened with an infield hit and stole second, his 14th of the season.

Both teams displayed a pitty-pat offense over the final eight innings. The Dodgers collected four hits and San Diego was held to only three after he first inning.

Torre brought in Jeff Weaver, who struck out Correia, and along with Cory Wade, Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso, the bullpen worked 6.1 scoreless innings.

Kershaw is 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA. In 12 starts, he's gone seven innings three times and this is the first time he's been unable to get five innings since April 26.

The funky National League schedule provides another day off for the Dodgers, their second in four days after playing 17 consecutive games. They now won't play another NL West team for two and a half weeks until the Rockies come to town for a three-game set beginning June 29.

Friday the Dodgers open another interleague period and will test their offense against the pitching of red-hot Texas at Arlington. The scheduled starters:

Friday, Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 1.62) vs. RHP Vicente Padilla (4-3, 5.22)
Saturday, LHP Randy Wolf (3-2, 3.62) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (5-1, 4.01)
Sunday, RHP Chad Billingsley (8-3, 2.73) vs a pitcher to be determined.

  Score by Innings
San Diego	201 000 000-3
Los Angeles	100 000 000-1

  Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre lf	4  1  1  0  .349
Hudson 2b	4  0  0  0  .308
Ethier rf	4  0  1  1  .279
Loney 1b	4  0  2  0  .291
Blake 3b	4  0  1  0  .292
Martin c	3  0  0  0  .254
Furcal ss	3  0  0  0  .245
Kemp cf	        3  0  0  0  .309
Kershaw p	0  0  0  0  .167
 Weaver p	0  0  0  0  .143
 Hoffman ph	1  0  0  0  .182
 Wade p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Belisaio p	0  0  0  0  .000
 DeWitt ph	0  0  0  0  .158
 Troncoso P	0  0  0  0  .000
---------------------------------
  Totals  	30  1  6  1  
  San Diego	31  3  6  3

  2B- Blake (14). RBI- Ethier (38).
S- Kershaw. LOB- Los Angeles 5, San
Diego 5. SB- Pierre (14). CS- Blake
(1). DP- Furcal and Loney.

  Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb os  era
Kershaw (3-5)	2.2  5  3-3  4  2  4.50
Weaver 	        2.1  1  0-0  0  2  3.72
Wade	        2.0  0  0-0  0  2  4.24
Belisario	1.0  0  0-0  1  0  2.50
Troncoso	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  1.60
  WP- Kershaw. T- 3:09. Att- 44,079. 
Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers are a Major League-best 40-20, and have won three of their last four, five of their last seven, and 10 of their last 15. Los Angeles is the only team in the Majors that has yet to lose three games in a row.  The club has dropped two straight on six occasions, most recently May 29-30 at Chicago. ...Despite ranking tied for 10th in the Majors with 150 runs scored in 31 games beginning May 7, the Dodgers rank second in the big leagues with a .280 batting average (305-for-1091) in that same span, trailing only Houston's .288 mark (288-for-999). ...Barring rainouts, the series opener against San Diego on Friday, July 3 will mark the return of Manny Ramirez, who was suspended on May 7 for 50 games. ...Ethier has hit safely in 14 straight starts but was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter during that period.      

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories