Padres look to shrug off opening loss to Dodgers
LOS ANGELES — San Diego Padres manager Andy Green remained positive despite a bad day at the office on the first day of a new year.
Green, though, and his club are hoping the second day isn’t as bad as the first one.
The Los Angeles Dodgers hit a franchise Opening Day record four home runs and crushed the Padres 14-3 in the season opener for both clubs Monday at Dodger Stadium.
A grand slam by Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, who drove in five runs, was the biggest blow as San Diego lost its third consecutive season opener to Los Angeles.
The Padres will try to regroup with left-hander Clayton Richard (3-4, 3.33 ERA last season) on the hill. Richard will oppose Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) in the second game of the four-game series.
This season’s opener was similar to last year’s when the Dodgers hammered the Padres 15-0 at Petco Park. But Green refused to get hung up in a numbers game.
“It’s one game out of 162 games. If you come out and win 14-3 or you lose 14-3, it’s one game,” Green said. “You show up every series with intent to win the series, understanding that you got a game (Tuesday) against Maeda and you got two more games after that. It literally is one game out of 162 right now.”
Maeda is 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA in four career starts against San Diego. In his last outing against the Padres, Maeda allowed three runs and three hits in four innings in a 7-1 loss by the Dodgers on Sept. 27. Maeda struck out five and walked one on 60 pitches.
Richard, who is in his second stint with the Padres, started last season with the Chicago Cubs as a reliever. He pitched in 25 games before the Cubs released him on Aug. 3 and signed as a free agent three days later with San Diego, where he compiled a 3-3 mark with a 2.41 ERA in nine starts.
Richard is 6-4 with a 3.73 ERA in 19 games (17 starts) against the Dodgers. He has 51 strikeouts and 24 walks in 89 1/3 innings.
“Clayton’s been there for us, threw the ball really well for us last year and he’s a guy who relies heavily on the sinker and you know this is a team that honestly handles sinkers well, so he’s got a challenge in front of him,” Green said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in Clayton. I feel good about him (Tuesday).”
The Dodgers will come into the game feeling on top of the world. In addition to Pederson, catcher Yasmani Grandal homered twice — from both sides of the plate — and shortstop Corey Seager hammered a three-run shot as the Dodgers pounded Padres starter Jhoulys Chacin for a career-high nine runs in 3 1/3 innings.
However, Pederson took the approach of Green, saying one game does not make a season.
“It’s just one game. Whether it was the first game, seventh game or 10th game, (Tuesday) is a new day,” Pederson said. “We’ve got to come out and a find a way to win a ballgame.”