Clayton Richard Shuts Out Dodgers To Lead Padres To Win
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers were worst in the Majors last season in several categories against left-handed pitching, and they found themselves in a familiar position Tuesday night, struggling against San Diego Padres starter Clayton Richard.

The Dodgers grounded into three double plays in four innings, which prevented them from cutting into the Padres’ lead. Not only did Kenta Maeda labor through the first inning, but it was also tough sledding for much of the night.

He did catch a break in the second inning when an Erick Aybar leadoff double was followed by a sacrifice bunt and a failed squeeze play, as Travis Jankowski popped up his bunt attempt, resulting in a double play.

Solarte homered in the third inning, extending the Padres lead to 3-0. Maeda did strike out a pair, and the inning may have been larger for San Diego if not for Yasiel Puig making a tremendous running catch in shallow right field.

Franklin Gutierrez’s first hit with the Dodgers was a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Though, it was followed by a Puig double play. Manuel Margot reached on an infield single to Corey Seager in the fifth, but nothing came of it.

It was the second play of the night that Seager failed to make. He bounced a throw in the first inning, which factored into a Hunter Renfroe infield single. Kiké Hernandez walked with two outs in the fifth, and it led to Scott Van Slyke pinch-hitting for Maeda.

Van Slyke, one of the Dodgers’ counters to left-handed pitching, made solid contact but lined out to third base, and the Padres’ lead remained 3-0. Luis Avilan’s first action of the regular season resulted in a 1-2-3 sixth inning. It marked the first time on the night where the Padres didn’t put a runner on.

Logan Forsythe improved to 2-for-2 on the night with a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth. But after Seager flied out, Justin Turner grounded into the Dodgers’ fourth double play of the game. Their number of double plays to that point was narrowly edged by their hit total (five).

Ross Stripling allowed a one-out double to Aybar in the seventh but struck out the next two batters faced to complete a scoreless inning. Meanwhile, Richard continued to breeze through the Dodgers lineup, retiring the side in order in the bottom of the seventh.

Margot singled to open the eighth inning, stole second base and advanced to third on Yasmani Grandal’s throwing error, and later scored on Wil Myers’ base hit. Richard was pinch-hit for in the ninth, which prevented the left-hander from pursuing his first complete-game shutout since 2012.

Brad Hand, another lefty, took over for the Padres in the ninth and retired the top of the Dodgers’ lineup to finish out a 4-0 victory.