Dodgers trail early and lose 4-1 to Padres

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 21, 2014 at 1:35 am •  Published: August 21, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers trailed early again and Roberto Hernandez fell behind in pitching counts, too.

Neither the NL West leaders nor Hernandez could do much about it in a 4-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.

"We keep trying to move in the right direction," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Just kind of plodding along trying to win series."

Hernandez (7-9) gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked two in his 200th career start and first as a home pitcher at Dodger Stadium. He was acquired from Philadelphia earlier this month.

"I didn't feel it was my best," he said through a translator. "I got behind in the count. I just wasn't able to get in a rhythm. I was getting outside of the zone a little bit."

The Dodgers closed to 3-1 in the third on Matt Kemp's sacrifice fly, scoring Yasiel Puig who singled.

Alexi Amarista had two hits and drove in a run, and Eric Stults was good enough against the team he pitched for from 2006-09.

Stults (6-13) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, struck out five and walked one.

"He's a guy to play with the edges and change speeds. You've got to be able to stay with him," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's going to be kind of a kitchen sink guy."

Kevin Quackenbush pitched the ninth to earn his first major league save. He started a 1-2-3 putout to end the game.

Rymer Liriano went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored, and Seth Smith went 2 for 5 for the Padres, who pounded out 11 hits in ending a two-game skid overall and a three-game losing streak to the Dodgers.

Just like a night earlier, the Padres took an early 3-0 lead only this time it held up. In the second, Amarista singled in their first run. Stults followed with an RBI single, and Liriano scored on a throwing error by left fielder Scott Van Slyke, who twice bobbled the ball trying to control it.

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