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Padres Blank Dodgers

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Thanks to no offense and a couple of bad defensive plays, the Dodgers were defeated by the last place San Diego Padres 2-0.

Padres starter Wade LeBlanc (1-1), who was recalled to the Padres from AAA Portland Beavers on August 29, pitched six shut out innings giving up only two singles and three walks while striking out two on 96 pitches. He had previously pitched against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium twice last season losing both decision while racking up a 16.30 ERA.

“I thought LeBlanc threw a lot of strikes,” manager Joe Torre said of LeBlanc’s impressive performance. “He changed speeds, and it just didn’t look like we were looking like we were picking the speed up or the pitch out of the pitcher’s hand.”

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw (8-8) has a good outing but started out very shaky in the first two innings using 27 pitches to get out of each inning.

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Kershaw started out by walking shortstop Everth Cabrera and giving up a single to second baseman David Eckstein. After striking out first baseman slugger Adrian Gonzalez the runners attempted a double-steal, however catcher Russell Martin was able to catch the lead runner Cabrera at third.

Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff singled to right-center field allowing Eckstein to score giving the Padres a 1-0 lead.

The defense let Kershaw down in the second inning.

After right fielder Oscar Salazar hit a single in the second inning and Will Venable grounded to short, catcher Nick Hundley hit a single off the leg of Kershaw. Shortstop Rafael Furcal picked the ball up and threw the ball away to first in an attempt to get Hundley which allowed Salazar to score from first.

First baseman James Loney then overthrew the ball to catcher Brad Ausmus sending the ball into the seats next to the Dodger dugout sending Hundley to third base.

Kershaw was able to stem any further damage by getting LeBlanc to ground to first and Cabrera to fly to right field holding the Padres to a 2-0 lead.

“I just tried to minimize the pitches and get through as many innings as I could,” Kershaw said of the difficulties of the first two innings.

After the first two innings, Kershaw breezed through the rest of his outing. After that Hundley single in the second inning, Kershaw only walked two more batters while retiring everyone else. He would leave after six innings giving up the two runs, only one earned.

Simply put, the Dodgers offense let Kershaw down.

All the Dodgers offense could muster against the Padres pitching staff were six singles, three walks and two batters hit by pitches.

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“You get one whack at it, and we came away empty,” Torre said. “You hope the result is better, but it wasn’t tonight.”

As frustrating as this shut out was for Dodgers fan, it wasn’t devoid of any highlights.

The newest Dodger Jim Thome came up to pinch hit in the eighth inning. Before he was announced the 52,965 fans gave him a standing ovation.

“The crowd was great,” Thome said. “That was exciting. I had never really experienced something like that.”

Thome wound up hitting a single that sent center fielder Matt Kemp to third base.

“Hey, we brought you over here to hit home runs,” third baseman Casey Blake joked to Thome after the game.