San Diego Padres starting pitcher Eric Stults throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Saturday, August 31, 2013 3:23 am
Stults, Bass tagged as Padres lose to Dodgers 9-2
By JOE RESNICKAssociated Press
Puig had four hits and two stolen bases after getting benched in his previous game, and Gonzalez hit a pair of two-run homers to help send the Padres to a 9-2 loss Friday.
After Logan Forsythe's RBI double in the second inning, the Dodgers responded in the bottom half with two runs on pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu's two-out RBI double off the base of the left-field fence and a broken-bat single by Puig. Gonzalez increased the margin to 4-1 in the third with an opposite-field drive to left-center that followed Hanley Ramirez's leadoff double.
"The pitcher got a fastball on a 3-2 count and he barreled up. Then the Gonzo home run was just a bad pitch out over the plate," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Four runs into the sixth inning is not great, obviously. You want better out of your starter. But I still thought Stults threw better than his pitching line."
Stults (8-12) was charged with four runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings in his fourth start this season against the team he began his big league career with in 2006. The left-hander is 0-5 with a 4.91 ERA in his last eight outings.
A.J. Ellis homered in the seventh immediately after Gonzalez's second of the game and 19th this season. Ramirez's two-run double preceded the back-to-back homers off Bass.
"Anthony will be the first to tell you that he made bad pitches," Black said. "You can't pitch up in the zone. Gonzalez got a ball up, and all the balls that were hit hard off him were up in the strike zone, regardless if they were fastballs or sliders."
Gonzalez, who spent five seasons with the Padres and wore their uniform in three of his four All-Star games, is batting .387 with six homers and 23 RBIs in 23 games against them since he was traded to Boston in December 2010.
"It's amazing," Gonzalez said. "We're playing great ball. Everyone is clicking. And the pitching has been fantastic."
Ryu (13-5) tied Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for the team lead in wins, allowing a run and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings following his first back-to-back losses in the majors. The South Korean left-hander struck out six and walked one.
"He had a great fastball from the first inning and he set the tone," Ellis said. "He was pumping 93, 94 (mph) that first inning, and usually his m.o. in the past has been to build up to that as the game goes on. So I think he wanted to make a statement right away because he was pretty discouraged about the way the first inning went against Boston."
The teams met for the first time since a four-game series at San Diego in June, when the Dodgers lost the first two and fell a season-worst 9 1/2 games behind Arizona in the NL West. But they won the next two, triggering a 46-10 stretch that vaulted them a season-best 10 1/2 games ahead of the Diamondbacks on Aug. 23 - the same margin Los Angeles enjoys with 28 games remaining.
"You look over there and you know they've got some star power," Black said. "But from our standpoint, we're thinking about ourselves. We're thinking about the Padres. We're not thinking about the Dodgers or the Giants or the Rockies or the Diamondbacks."
The victory was the Dodgers' 22nd in August, their most in a month since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. The club record is 25 set in July 1947 and equaled in August 1953, when the team played in Brooklyn.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly benched Puig in the fifth inning of Wednesday's 4-0 win over the Cubs because he didn't think the rookie was ready for every pitch on defense. That little bit of discipline went a long way.
"He played the game the way we want. The other day is over and he played well tonight," Mattingly said. "We've talked about it, and it's over. It's not something that continues on. It's been handled and we're moving forward. He understands where we're coming from. I like Yasiel. He's a good player, he's a good kid, and I think he's going to help us win. So I want him in there."
NOTES: Nick Hundley tried to score from second on a single by Alexi Amarista in the seventh and was thrown out by CF Andre Ethier for the first out of the inning. ... One of the players San Diego got in the Gonzalez deal with Boston was CF Reymond Fuentes, who made his big league debut Monday after his promotion from Triple-A Tucson.