Cashner solidifying spot in Padres' rotation
Despite another tough loss, Andrew Cashner moved toward solidifying his spot as a major league starter.
Adrian Gonzalez scored an unearned run and Zack Greinke combined with three relievers on a two-hitter to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers over the San Diego Padres 1-0 Sunday.
Cashner (10-9) took a two-hitter into the seventh when Gonzalez singled with one out, Matt Kemp struck out and Michael Young doubled off the right-field wall. Will Venable bobbled the ball and Gonzalez came home after initially being held by third base coach Tim Wallach.
Cashner had made only six big league starts before this season. In his last six starts, Cashner is 2-2 despite a 0.81 ERA.
''I made two mistakes,'' he said. ''One was foul and the other one to Young.''
Cashner has allowed just two earned runs in 22 innings in three starts against the Dodgers this season but has only received two runs of support.
''We put him in the (Matt) Harvey, (Jose) Fernandez category,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''This guy's got good stuff. He did this to us before. This guy is not a surprise anymore.''
Cashner allowed four hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks in his 26th start this season. He was coming off a two-hit shutout of Pittsburgh in his previous outing.
After throwing a career-high 175 innings, Cashner likely was making his final start this season, according to manager Bud Black.
''''We felt like he was capable of being a frontline major league pitcher. It's showing up in his performances the last couple of months. There's no reason to think it's not going to continue.''
Greinke allowed both hits over five innings, lowering his ERA to 2.67. He is 7-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 11 starts since a July 25 loss to Cincinnati and 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in three starts against the Reds this year.
J.P. Howell (4-1) pitched a perfect sixth, Chris Withrow walked two over two innings and Kenley Jensen struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save in 31 chances.
Los Angeles threw its 21st shutout, four more than any other big league team.
San Diego, which won 2-0 on Friday night, was held scoreless over the final 21 innings of the three-game series.
NOTES: Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez started for just the third time in 10 games. Ramirez, who has been fighting back and hamstring ailments, was removed after six innings. ... Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said he will likely use a four-man rotation in the NL division series and carry 11 pitchers. ... Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-7, 3.03 ERA) will oppose Giants RHP Matt Cain (8-9, 4.06) at San Francisco when the clubs open a three-game series on Tuesday night. ... Diamondbacks RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-9, 4.57) faces Padres LHP Eric Stults (9-13, 4.02) on Monday night, starting San Diego's final home series.