LOS ANGELES — Injuries to first baseman Yonder Alonso and center fielder Wil Myers have taken their toll on the San Diego Padres' struggling lineup. And they're wasting a lot of good pitching performances in the process.
Ian Kennedy's 2-0 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday night was another example. The right-hander pitched six sharp innings, holding the two-time defending NL West champions to a run and five hits after giving up a leadoff homer in the first inning to rookie Joc Pederson.
"You've got to absorb those injuries," manager Bud Black said after the Padres' sixth shutout loss in 18 games. "The guys who replace those fellas and are getting the opportunity have to step in and be productive. I think it's more of a collective thing. We really don't have anybody swinging the bat consistently well.
"I mean, you can make a case for (Yangervis) Solarte and (Derek) Norris, but everybody else is in a little bit of a down cycle and we just can't get anything started."
Pederson's homer was his second in two nights. On Friday, he hit a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth against Joaquin Benoit that helped give Los Angeles a 2-1 victory.
The Padres have scored only three runs during their four-game losing streak and are 0-22 this season when trailing after eight innings.
"We've been through this before, and these guys are going to get out of it," Kennedy said. "Our guys are too talented to go through a rut this long."
The Padres had no answer for Mike Bolsinger, who retired his final 23 batters after giving up a leadoff single in the first inning. Bolsinger (3-0) struck out eight and walked none through eight innings in his fourth start of the season.
Solarte opened the game with a clean hit to right-center field, but was quickly erased on a double-play grounder by Cory Spangenberg, and the Padres didn't get another baserunner.
"We're not really squaring the ball up right now," Black said. "But when that happens, there are going to be some teams that pay — because that's coming. It always does at some point. So we've got to ride this out."
Will Venable tried to bunt his way on with one out in the eighth, but Bolsinger made a diving trap on the ball before tossing to first base for the out. The previous batter was Justin Upton, who was called out on strikes and ejected by umpire Clint Fagan for complaining about the strike zone from the dugout after Venable made out.
"The home plate umpire had a high strike zone on the curve ball all night," Black said. "There were a number of curve balls that seemed to hit the very top edge of the zone. And if you can do that as a pitcher, have a little sharpness to the pitch and not really hang it, it can be effective. It was tonight."
The Dodgers acquired Bolsinger in a trade with Arizona on Nov. 22 for cash considerations. Last season, he was 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA during two stints with the Diamondbacks. But in four starts with the Dodgers, he has a 0.71 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 25 1-3 innings.
"He had an assortment of off-speed pitches," Black said. "I'm not sure how many curve balls this fella threw, but he threw a lot of them. He threw them at the top of the zone, the bottom of the zone, and away. His curve ball I think is what got him to the big leagues. We just couldn't solve his breaking pitch."
Kennedy (2-4) lost his third straight start overall, and is 0-7 with a 5.48 ERA in his last 11 against the Dodgers.
"They've got a great lineup over there. And to give our team six solid innings, I was happy with that," Kennedy said. "But Bolsinger pitched a great game for them and shut our hitters down."
The Dodgers, who totaled just four runs over their previous six games, got their second run against Kennedy when Adrian Gonzalez singled with two out in the sixth and scored on Justin Turner's double.
Padres third baseman Will Middlebrooks started at shortstop for the first time in eight seasons of professional ball and had only one ball hit to him — a grounder by Turner. Middlebrooks played two-thirds of an inning at short on May 10, but didn't have a ball hit to him.
COMINGS AND GOINGS:
Padres: Claimed LHP Eury De La Rosa off waivers him from the Dodgers and optioned him to Triple-A El Paso, four days after Los Angeles designated him for assignment. RHP Josh Johnson, recovering from Tommy John surgery, was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room for De La Rosa on the 40-man roster.
Padres: RHP James Shields (5-0) will try to start a season with six straight winning decisions for the second time in his 10-year career. He was 6-0 with a 3.04 ERA over his first 13 starts with Tampa Bay in 2007, his second season in the big leagues.
Dodgers: RHP Carlos Frias (3-1) has a 2.82 ERA in four starts this season, and one of his victories came in a relief role.
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