Padres beaten by triple play, Dodgers in 5-4 loss
By BETH HARRIS
LOS ANGELES (AP) The San Diego Padres are ready to play someone else. They sure can't beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
They continued to struggle against their NL West rival, losing 5-4 Sunday for their ninth consecutive defeat at Dodger Stadium. The teams have played seven times already this season, with the Padres losing six of seven and four in a row.
Their latest setback included being on the wrong end of a bizarre triple play tied 4-all in the top of the ninth inning.
The ball landed in front of the plate and catcher A.J. Ellis alertly picked it up and threw to third. Guzman, startled by what happened, didn't run to first base, which made it easy for third baseman Juan Uribe to relay to shortstop Dee Gordon at second base. In turn, he threw to James Loney to complete the triple play.
"As soon as I got the ball to Juan and nobody was running I said, `This is going to be a triple play,'" Ellis said. "They were sure it was a foul ball and we were sure it was a bunted ball."
Padres manager Bud Black came out to argue with plate umpire and crew chief Dale Scott, who ejected him.
"It happened so fast," said Black, who thought he heard two sounds when the ball hit the bat. "It sounded funny."
He came into the clubhouse and watched a replay.
"There's not many times where a ball headed for the face turns into a triple play," Black said. "I looked at the tape, and it was a fair ball."
Headley saw Scott's hands go up and believed the umpire was signaling that the ball hit the bat, then hit him in the batter's box, making it a foul ball.
"When he throws his hands up like that, it's supposed to be a foul ball. I told him that five times. He said that he was just trying to get out of the way," Headley said. "He wasn't just sticking his hands up. He waved them, and to me, that means foul ball, regardless of whether it hit him or didn't hit him. That's irrelevant."
Scott told a pool reporter that the umpiring crew didn't see the ball hit the batter.
"It was off the bat and then straight down," he said. "We saw several angles, including the replay here and we also called in and asked for the replay from New York and looked at that. The ball went straight down and I thought it hit the bat. I heard bat."
Gordon singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for the Dodgers' sixth straight win.
"It was just a crazy occurrence," Headley said about the triple play.
Black said, "We're been involved in some close games that have hinged on a key play, especially late in the game."
Brad Brach (0-1) took the loss in the series finale. San Diego opens a three-game series at Colorado on Monday.
The Padres rallied with three runs in the sixth after trailing 4-1. Pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida had a tying two-run single off Josh Lindblom in the sixth. Orlando Hudson had a bases-loaded RBI single through the hole past Gordon to finish Clayton Kershaw, and Hermida followed with his bases-loaded single.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez gave up four runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked five. He hasn't reached the sixth inning in either of his two starts against the Dodgers this season.
Catcher Nick Hundley snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a single in the third. His drought was the longest to start a season by a Padres non-pitcher since Ozzie Smith's club record 0-for-32 stretch in 1979.
Updated April 15, 2012