Kershaw, Puig stumble in Dodgers’ loss to Padres

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw, the
All-Star pitcher, and Yasiel Puig, the exciting rookie, stumbled while
trying to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers out of the NL West basement.

The Dodgers could have passed the San
Diego Padres in the standings with a victory, but they lost 6-2 on
Wednesday night after winning the first two games of the series.

Puig provided a huge spark in his first
two major league games, going 5 for 8 at the plate. The 22-year-old
Cuban defector created a buzz with two homers and five RBIs in a 9-7 win
on Tuesday night.

But the young outfielder and Kershaw hit a bump at the same time.

Kershaw (5-4) struck out nine and was
charged with three runs and seven hits. The left-hander gave up at least
one hit in each of his six innings.

“When we don’t win games it’s not any
fun,” he said. “Every at-bat was not easy. There were a couple at-bats
where I gave up two-out runs and stuff like that which you never want to

Kershaw snapped a streak of seven
consecutive starts of at least seven innings since April 28. He is 0-2
with a 3.86 ERA against the Padres this season.

“He’s giving us a chance to win but we’re not putting any runs up for the most part,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Puig was hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts.

“He’s going to be fine but there are going to be nights when he makes outs,” Mattingly said.

Puig went to field a single by Yasmani
Grandal with his left-handed glove with two outs in the second and the
ball went behind him, allowing Jesus Guzman to score the Padres’ first

The Dodgers fell to 16-16 at home.

San Diego right-hander Jason Marquis
(7-2) was working a no-hitter before Skip Schumaker doubled to deep
center field with two outs in the sixth inning. Adrian Gonzalez followed
with a RBI single that trimmed the Padres’ lead to 3-1.

Earlier in the inning, Padres right
fielder Kyle Blanks temporarily preserved Marquis’ no-hit bid with a
diving catch and slide on his belly that robbed pinch-hitter Jerry
Hairston Jr.

Marquis left after Scott Van Slyke
homered with one out in the seventh. The right-hander allowed three
hits, struck out six and walked two while improving to 6-0 with a 3.28
ERA in his last eight starts.

“I saw the legit sinker just pounding
it on right-handers and keeping it away from lefties,” Padres manager
Bud Black said. “It was a lot of sinkers and good sliders down

San Diego extended its lead to 6-2 with
three runs in the ninth. Jedd Gyorko and Grandal each had a
bases-loaded sacrifice fly, and pinch hitter Will Venable singled home a

Gyorko also had a leadoff homer in the fourth and walked and scored on Guzman’s double in the sixth.

Dodgers LHP Scott Elbert will undergo Tommy John surgery next week and
is expected to be out 12 to 16 months. … Dodgers RHP Josh Beckett is
confident he will pitch again this season, although he won’t throw for
another four weeks. Currently on the disabled list with a left groin
strain, Beckett has been diagnosed with irritation of an upper arm nerve
that causes numbness in his right hand and fingers. … Marquis hasn’t
lost since April 22, a 7-1 defeat to Milwaukee.