After picking up two victories in Australia, then losing two of three to the Angels in the Freeway Series, the Dodgers finally played their first game in North America last Sunday night against San Diego at Petco Park before a stadium-record 45,567.
In a tight pitching matchup between Andrew Cashner and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers couldn’t hold a one-run lead as reliever Brian Wilson surrendered three runs (two earned) on two hits and one walk in the eighth inning and fell, 3-1.
Pinch-hitter Seth Smith greeted Wilson (0-1) with a homer to right field that tied it at 1-1, and it became a two-run deficit on a single to center field by Chris Denorfia (two hits).
The blow scored pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal, who walked, and Everth Cabrera, who laid down a sacrifice bunt that Wilson mishandled for an error.
Two-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (1-0) was scheduled to start, but was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained back muscle.
Ryu (1-0) filled in and allowed three hits with no runs over seven innings, striking out seven with three walks.
The left-handed Ryu could also start the Dodgers’ home opener against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, and in two starts has toiled 12 innings and given up no earned runs with 12 strikeouts and four walks.
The Dodgers (2-1) built a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on Carl Crawford’s single that scored Dee Gordon (walk). When Yasiel Puig walked the bases were filled, but Hanley Ramirez bounced into a force out.
The Dodgers also managed two hits in the second inning when Juan Uribe singled with two out, and A.J. Ellis (two hits) also singled, but Gordon grounded into a force out.
There was a stretch when Ryu retired 16 batters in a row, but did have some trouble in the first inning when he filled the bases, but induced Yonder Alonso to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Cashner didn’t get the decision, but exhibited superior command across six frames, giving up one run (earned) with four hits, striking out five and walking two.
The Padres used four relievers with closer Huston Street earning the save after working a perfect ninth inning that included a strikeout.