Missteps derail Dodgers on heels of Opening Day thriller
Gonzalez on Game 2 loss: 'We gave it to them'
LOS ANGELES -- Two games into the season, and we've already seen both ends of the spectrum from the Dodgers.
After Monday's efficient and clutch Opening Day comeback win, they came back with a 7-3 loss on Tuesday night. The defense was charged with three errors and misplayed a sinking liner into an RBI triple. Two baserunners were thrown out at third base. The new bullpen picked up a blown save and a loss.
"That's the reason they won. We gave it to them," said Adrian Gonzalez, who duplicated his home run, double and single performance from Monday.
Manager Don Mattingly was more forgiving.
"It was good until the last couple of innings," Mattingly said. "A little sloppy, but I think we're going to be fine. Errors are going to happen."
Left fielder Carl Crawford made a diving attempt to catch Justin Upton's sinking liner and came up empty, allowing former teammate Matt Kemp, who had singled, to score from first base. Those two first-inning hits were the only ones allowed by starting pitcher Zack Greinke in six innings.
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the Opening Day hero, was charged with two errors and was nailed trying to stretch a double into a triple. Howie Kendrick, after following back-to-back doubles by Yasiel Puig and Gonzalez with an RBI single in the sixth inning, was thrown out trying to steal third base.
The most costly mistake, however, was former Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal's throwing error on a Cory Spangenberg sacrifice bunt with the game tied in the top of the ninth inning. The Padres would end up batting around, scoring four runs (two earned) and pinning a loss on Chris Hatcher.
"The bunt came back and I thought it would be a foul ball, but it kind of stopped," Grandal said. "I really didn't have a [throwing] line there. I was hoping I'd make a good throw, but obviously it didn't happen. I'm sure it's something we'll work on."
Greinke said Crawford is about as good as it gets catching the ball, he praised Puig's long-throwing accuracy as "amazing," noticed new center fielder Joc Pederson's jumps and routes to balls, and said Rollins didn't deserve an error on the popup.
Teammates also defended Hatcher for getting ground balls that found holes, but Hatcher was having none of that when asked what he needed to do in that situation.
"Make better pitches," he said.
Mattingly, who has made nine pitching changes in 18 innings, again took a kinder, gentler approach with the bullpen. He's now used Hatcher and Perez back-to-back.
"I thought actually they were OK," he said of the six relievers. "We had a chance to get out of the seventh inning [when a backpedaling Rollins missed a popup for an unearned run off Pedro Baez]. I think the guys threw the ball fine."
Hatcher got the loss. Yimi Garcia got the blown save for allowing a leadoff single to Derek Norris in the eighth, although Norris tagged to third when Puig appeared to forget how many outs there were. Norris scored on Yonder Alonso's single off J.P. Howell.