Tough Times in Chavez Ravine

There is no truth to the rumor that Clayton Kershaw will take the Dodgers to court and sue for non-support, but if he did, there is no jury in the world that wouldn't find in his favor. The 21-year-old allowed four hits and a single earned run last night but the Padres hung a 2-0 loss on him.

Kershaw, who slipped to 8-8 on the season, hasn't won a game since beating Houston on July 18. threw 106 pitches over six innings, allowing two runs—one earned—and four hits. But again, the 21-year-old left-hander was the victim of poor run support and remained winless in his last nine outings (0-2) since beating Houston 5-2 on July 18.

He is 0-2 in his last nine starts, despite a 2.75 earned run average over that time (1.97 at home), the second worst in all of baseball. He has allowed three runs or less in 24 of his 28 starts, two times in his last 24, and because of that the Dodgers are 13-16 in his starts. He received two runs in his previous appearance but knocked in one of them himself.

It was the 14th time in last 16 starts that he allowed fewer than two earned runs. He leads the majors with a .202 opponents' batting average in his 28 starts.

The Dodgers managed six hits but were a season-worst 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position (but it's the third time this season they hit that mark), left 10 on base and were shut out for the seventh time this season.

The Dodgers' loss, combined with victories by Colorado and San Francisco, reduced their division lead to 4 1/2 games over the Rockies and 5 1/2 over the Giants with 26 games to play.

Padre starter Wade LeBlanc (1-1), a soft-tossing lefthander who was 4-9 in AAA this season, struck out two, walked three and retired his final nine batters in his fourth start of the season and eighth in the big leagues. He came into the game with a 9.58 earned run average and left wit a 6.06.

The Dodgers put two on in the second and fourth with none out and two on with one out both in the seventh and eighth.

Jim Tome, in his first appearance in a Dodgers uniform, singled as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.

San Diego scored in the first inning after Kershaw walked the leadoff man and David Eckstein singled. Kevin Kousmanoff's singled made it 1-0.

San Diego's run in the second inning was unearned. Nick Hundley opened with an infield hit, the last hit San Diego could manage of Kershaw. The ball bounced off Kershaw and Rafael Furcal bounced it past James Loney at first. Loney retrieved the ball and fired it past Brad Ausmus at the plate and it ended up in the box seats in front of Tommy Lasorda and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt who must have thought they were watching a Keystone Kops rerun.

The Dodgers out-hit San Diego 6-5 and even Matt Kemp, who came in batting .405 against left-handers, was 0-for-3 against LeBlanc. After the game he told reportres, "To me, that was the worst game we played all year -- seriously, all year. We didn't battle. Kershaw pitched well enough to get a win and we didn't do nothing to help him out. You can't look at it like we're playing a last-place team. They're a big league club trying to win. I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about us. We should play better than that."

The 52,962 who paid to see a that has scored no more than two runs in 12 of their past 26 games would agree.

LAD: LHP Randy Wolf (9-6, 3.25 ERA), who knows a lot about non-support, goes for his 100th win tonight after the bullpen let a Major League-leading eighth win get away in his last outing.

RHP Mat Latos (4-4, 4.53 ERA), who has a much better record than LaBlanc, will face the Dodgers tonight. The 21-year-old right-hander had the Marlins off balance their first time through the order, but five runs (four earned) on four hits over 3.1 innings.

 Score by Innings
San Diego 	110 000 000-2
Los Angeles	000 000 000-0

 Dodgers	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	5  0  1  0  .253
Ethier rf	4  0  1  0  .283
Ramirez lf	3  0  0  0  .302
Kemp cf        	4  0  1  0  .311
Blake 3b	1  0  0  0  .273
 Kuo p        	0  0  0  0  .000
 Thome ph	1  0  1  0  .251
 Repko pr	0  0  0  0  .000
 Elbert p	0  0  0  0  .200
 Belisario p	0  0  0  0  .000
Belliard 2b	3  0  1  0  .252
Loney 1n	4  0  0  0  .273
Ausmus c	2  0  0  0  .284
 Loretta ph-3h	1  0  0  0  .227
 Pierre ph	1  0  1  0  .323
Kershaw p	2  0  0  0  .109
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Martin ph-c	1  0  0  0  .256
---------------------------------
 Totals	        32  0  6  0
 San Diego 	29  2  5  1
  
 Errors- Furcal (18), Loney (6).
LOB- Los Angeles 10, San Diego 3.
DP- Loney and Furcal; Kemp and Loney. 

 Dodgers	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Kershaw (8-8)	6.0  4  2-1  3  3  2.89
Troncoso	1.0  1  0-0  0  1  2.54
Kuo        	1.0  0  0-0  0  0  3.05
Elbert	        0.1  0  0-0  0  0  5.40
Belisario	0.2  0  0-0  0  1  2.11
 WP- Kershaw. HBP- Ramirez, Martin.
T- 2:53. Att- 52,965.
Torre concerned
"I'm concerned," said Torre after the game. "We haven't scored runs and we know we're capable of scoring runs. But being concerned doesn't straighten it out. You have to work at trying to get things to change a bit. You sit there on the sidelines and you wish you could help, but they're out there playing the game and they've done a good job up to now.

"Sure they're frustrated. They know they're better offensively than we've been showing here on and off over the last couple of weeks, and there's no question that they're frustrated, but that's something you've got to deal with."

Dodger Blue Notes --"The crowd -- that was just exciting," Thome said. "I've never experienced something like that. It was nice just to get in there and get my feet wet. I was jittery, a good nervous feeling. It had been a while since I stepped in the box. You want to do something right there, and it worked out, but unfortunately, it didn't work out." ...The Dodgers were held without an extra-base hit for only the second time this season and first since May 18 against the Mets. ... Matt Kemp recorded his 13th outfield assist Friday, and he is now tied with Washington's Nyjer Morgan for the league lead.

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