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Dodgers Meekly Bow to Padres 5-0

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Two wins was too much of a good thing for the Dodgers as they got shut out by the San Diego Padres 5-0.

“They were better than we were,” manager Joe Torre conceded. “The only guy that really did any damage was [Ryan] Theriot - he had three hits.”

Coming into the game Dodgers’ starter Chad Billingsley had a 21 1/3 inning scoreless streak and the second lowest career ERA with a minimum of 10 games started against the Padres at 2.36. The Padres really paid no mind to those statistics in the top of the fourth inning when they drew first blood.

Chase Headley hit a one-out single that brought home Adrian Gonzalez from second base for the first run. For added measure Yorvit Torrealba, whose 15-game hitting streak ended Wednesday night, hit a single that brought home Ryan Ludwick, and Tony Gwynn hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to bring home Headley for the 3-0 lead.

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That ended Billingsley’s scoreless streak at 25 innings, the longest streak in the Majors this season.

“Billingsley maybe didn’t have as good of stuff as he’s had the last couple of times,” Torre said, “But I thought he battled.”

“I didn’t really have a lot on my off-speed pitches,” Billingsley acknowledged. “I was just pitching with my fast ball for most of the night. I just could never get my off-speed going.”

The Dodgers had their chances. Rather James Loney had three chances to tie the game. In the bottom of the fourth inning with runners on first and second base with one out, Loney had a nine pitch at-bat against Kevin Correia that ended with a fly ball just several feet short of going over the wall into the right field pavilion to tie the game. In the sixth and eighth innings with runners on the corners and two outs, Loney flew out to center field and grounded to first base respectively to end those innings.

“He had a couple of good at-bats,” Torre said. “He’s all right. James is a little unpredictable with the quality of his at-bats. I think he was all right tonight.”

The Padres extended their lead in the ninth inning with a two-run inside-the-park homer by Chris Denorfia who came on as part of a double-switch in the eighth inning. The ball hugged the third base line out of the reach of third baseman Casey Blake and dribbled just out of the reach of the tarp in left field foul territory. Left fielder Scott Podsednik never touched the ball thus no error was committed allowing the first inside-the-park homer by an opponent to be hit since Gary Matthews, Jr. did it for the Angels on June 17, 2007.

Just for kicks Andre Ethier was brought in to play first base for the first time in his Major League career as part of a double-switch in the top of the ninth inning.

“We were a man short,” Torre said about his decision. “You’re trying to lengthen out your lineup at that point in time.”

“I thought it was a joke at first,” Ethier said. “But [Torre] wasn’t smiling so I said okay.”