Sticking with Wood backfires for Dodgers

Starter bats for himself in top of 6th, then sees lead vanish in bottom half

April 8th, 2016
Alex Wood departs after allowing two singles leading off the sixth inning. (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Judging from either the dateline or the final score, it's clear the Dodgers aren't in San Diego anymore.

A flight upstate made the National League West look a lot more formidable Thursday, as all of those jaw-dropping streaks the Dodgers built against the Padres were snapped by the Giants, who erased a four-run deficit to win their AT&T Park opener, 12-6.

Along with a three-game unbeaten streak, the pitching staff's scoreless-innings streak of 31 and a 25-0 run advantage, manager Dave Roberts' streak of not being second-guessed ended in his first time managing against his former team and managerial role model, Bruce Bochy.

Roberts allowed starting pitcher Alex Wood to bat and make the final out in the top of the sixth inning after Wood had allowed three runs in a 24-pitch bottom of the fifth. The next two batters Wood faced leading off the sixth, Matt Duffy and Brandon Crawford, bounced "seeing-eye" singles through the infield, Roberts said, and Wood was removed. Eight runs then scored with Dodgers relievers on the mound.

"I still trusted his stuff at that point," Roberts said about letting Wood bat and remain in the game. "It's not like they had a bunch of great swings. They had two hard-hit balls [by Joe Panik and Buster Posey, who each had three hits]. If they had been hit at people, we wouldn't be having this conversation. As far as stamina, he wasn't missing on the arm side or losing velocity. His stuff held and he wanted to go back out there."

Roberts, who lifted Scott Kazmir on Tuesday with a one-hitter after six innings, said Wood came into the regular season more stretched out from Spring Training and had a pitch limit of 105. He was removed at 85.

Wood held the Giants scoreless through four innings, but they got to him the third time through the batting order. Wood dismissed that theory, saying he was most annoyed at walking Crawford with a full count to lead off the fifth inning, then was surprised by pinch-hitter Kelby Tomlinson's perfect bunt single.

"If I throw that changeup for a strike [to Crawford], we're not having this conversation," said Wood, "but it's a 3-2 pitch, I should have thrown a heater and challenged him more."

After warming up and sitting down and warming up again, Yimi Garcia took over but allowed three RBI singles. J.P. Howell didn't retire any of the four batters he faced. Pedro Baez allowed a grand slam to Hunter Pence.

Roberts was more annoyed with fundamental slipups, like missed cutoff men and a blown bunt defense that allowed the aggressive Giants extra bases.

"Yeah, that was a little uncharacteristic," he said. "We've got some things to clean up."

The Dodgers wasted three more hits from Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson's first home run of the year, a two-run shot that closed the gap to 7-6 in the eighth inning.