04/13/08 1:57 AM ET
Young hit hard in Padres' loss
Righty lasts three-plus innings as Dodgers' bats awaken
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
The lopsidedness of the Dodgers' 11-1 victory over the Padres, an affair that was settled in the first four innings, made it easy for manager Bud Black to pull many of his starters from the game, though he would have much rather left them in to the end.
"We don't have many games like that go against us," Black said.
Not with the typically reliable starting pitching the Padres have received early on in the season and with what seems to be an improved offense, built around apparently mostly singles, though neither were anywhere to be found on a warm night in front of a sold-out crowd of 54,995.
No, the reason Morton, Crabbe and Huber were in the game at the end was because the Padres starting pitcher, Chris Young, couldn't command his fastball and because of the way Derek Lowe breezed through drama-free innings.
"You've got to keep those guys fresh," Black said of Crabbe, Huber and Morton, though none would have likely been in the game had the Padres not been buried early.
The result was the kind of loss the Padres haven't been faced with often under the watch of Black, who was forced to go to his bullpen in the fourth inning, as the Padres became the last Major League team to have a starting pitcher take a loss.
Young (1-1), who said that his command was fine in the bullpen warming up before the game, allowed a home run to Dodgers leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal on the second pitch that he threw.
The game got away soon thereafter, though the Padres didn't help themselves with just four hits. The two errors on defense certainly didn't help, either.
"It was my fastball command ... I'm not throwing the fastball where I want to," said Young, who walked four and allowed six earned runs on seven hits while not making it out of the fourth inning. "It's frustrating."
Young allowed three hits to right fielder Andre Ethier, including a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Ethier now has four hits, including two home runs, in just five at-bats off Young this season.
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"Adjusting your eye level is the main thing," Ethier said of facing the 6-foot-10 Young. "We've seen him once already, so you're used to his style and what he's trying to do. It's a fresh chance to see [Friday starter Jake] Peavy and him in a row for the second time."
It was Young's shortest outing that didn't involve an ejection (June 16 against the Cubs) or an injury (July 24 against Colorado) since allowing four earned runs and five walks here at Dodger Stadium last April 15.
"For the most part, I put the hitters in hitters' counts," Young said. "I wasn't very good. ... I felt bad I put the team in an early hole."
The Padres have likely already got their fill of Lowe, who is 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA when facing San Diego at Dodger Stadium.
Oddly enough, the Padres were the ones who scored first and, for an inning at least, made it look as though Lowe might be in for a rough night.
Scott Hairston, batting leadoff while Brian Giles sat out the first of two games with what Black called a "tweaked side," rolled a triple into the right-field corner. One out later, he scored when Adrian Gonzalez doubled off the right-field wall.
But that was, essentially, the extent of the Padres' offense. One night after collecting 15 singles -- and, lest we forget, a double -- in a 7-5 victory over Los Angeles, Lowe didn't allow a hit after Josh Bard singled in the second inning until Huber's hit in the seventh.
"He throws the ball at the knee and works at his pace," said Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. "I think we should have stepped out [of the batter's box] and disrupted his momentum.
"After the first inning, he got in a groove. He was on with all of his pitches tonight."