Roberto Hernandez comes back to Earth in Los Angeles Dodgers’ loss to San Diego Padres

first_imgThe only hit between the two replacements was a single by Van Slyke in the third inning. He was stranded when Hernandez struck out with the bases loaded. Stults allowed four hits, one run, walked one batter and struck out five in five innings. His ERA fell to 4.53. The Dodgers entered the game with a collective .243 batting average against left-handed starters this season (compared to .264 against righties). However, they hadn’t lost to a left-handed starter since July 23.San Diego took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, helped in part by an error by Van Slyke.Jedd Gyorko led off the inning with an infield hit, beating out a tremendous diving stop and throw by Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. The floodgates opened from there: Jake Goebbert and Rymer Liriano drew consecutive walks. Alexi Amarista singled to center field, driving in Gyorko with the first run.Stults helped himself with a single to left field, scoring Goebbert. Van Slyke bobbled the ball twice, allowing Liriano to score an unearned run.San Diego padded its lead in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly by Yangervis Solarte.Stults allowed his only run in the third inning when Yasiel Puig reached on an infield single, went to third base on a ground-rule double by Adrian Gonzalez, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Kemp.The Dodgers went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. Coming into his start against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, Dodgers pitcher Roberto Hernandez hadn’t been pitching like himself lately. More accurately, he’d been pitching like a younger version of himself.Hernandez had been pitching like Fausto Carmona circa 2007. That was the name listed on all of Hernandez’s legal documents ‑ and five American League Cy Young Award ballots ‑ seven years ago. Optimistically, it seemed as if Hernandez had found the fountain of youth using his real name (and his real age) with a new team.Realistically, the 33-year-old right-hander was due for a loss. Not since July 4 had he lost a game, going 4-0 with a 1.99 earned-run average in the meantime.Hernandez (7-9) came back to Earth a bit, allowing eight hits and four runs in the Dodgers’ 4-1 loss to the Padres before an announced crowd of 46,641 at Dodger Stadium. San Diego, which has averaged more runs than all but one major league team since the All-Star break, wasn’t fooled by Hernandez’s usual mix of 90-mph sinkers and off-speed junk. He struck out only two of the 23 batters he faced.The loss actually caused the Dodgers (71-57) to slip a game and a half in the National League West standings. That’s because the San Francisco Giants (66-58) successfully protested to Major League Baseball that their rain-shortened loss Tuesday in Chicago should count as a suspended game. That game will be resumed today where it left off in the fifth inning, with the Giants trailing 2-0.So, with 34 games left in the season, the Dodgers lead the Giants by three games. The margin might be 2 1/2 games ‑ the closest it’s been in two weeks ‑ by the time they play next.Hernandez wasn’t solely to blame.Against former teammate Eric Stults (6-13), the Dodgers were true to the form of a team that’s struggled to hit left-handed pitching this season. Manager Don Mattingly pulled out a couple tricks: Left-handed hitters Dee Gordon and Carl Crawford came out of the lineup, and Darwin Barney and Scott Van Slyke went in.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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