Gaudin gives up big inning as Padres fall

Gaudin hit hard as Padres fall

SAN DIEGO -- There were fireworks on Friday, alright. Just none involving No. 99, Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez, who returned to the Major Leagues with a relative thud, going hitless while his teammates torched the Padres.

A sellout crowd of 42,217 at PETCO Park was treated to the Padres' annual fireworks show following the Dodgers' 6-3 victory over San Diego, which might have qualified as only the second-biggest eruption of the night.

The Dodgers jumped on Padres pitcher Chad Gaudin for five runs in the first inning and never looked back, even as Ramirez, who went 0-for-3 with a walk, wasn't much help to them offensively.

As it turns out, Manny didn't need to be.

The Dodgers (51-29) saw 46 pitches alone in the first inning from Gaudin (4-7) as they worked several deep counts, took two walks and generally made things miserable for a pitcher who had won his past two starts.

"When Chad is on, his fastball command is there. Today, in the first inning, he was a little spotty," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He ran some deep counts as the inning wore on and couldn't get out of it."

Ramirez earned his lone walk in that first inning, but it was erased on a ground ball that followed. However, the Nos. 6-8 hitters -- James Loney, Russell Martin and Matt Kemp -- followed with three hits that brought in four runs.

"I got into deep counts, my fastball was not the greatest and I wasn't throwing everything for strikes," said Gaudin, who also had a throwing error in the first inning. "I was really erratic in the first. They got some guys on, and I got myself into a bad position."

The Padres (34-45), who are 11 games under .500 for the first time this season and are 9-22 since the start of June, got a solo home run from Scott Hairston in the fourth inning as well as a two-run double by Adrian Gonzalez in the sixth inning, but little else.

Gonzalez almost made the game 6-5 in the eighth inning when, with a runner on, he put a charge into a pitch, flying out to the fence in left field, where Juan Pierre, who replaced Ramirez in the sixth inning, made the catch.

"It looked good off the bat," Black said. "We have seen Adrian go to the opposite field before."

Los Angeles pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (3-4) allowed three runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings and was helped by four relievers, who combined to get the final 11 outs -- including a 1-2-3 ninth inning by closer Jonathan Broxton, who was clocked at 101 mph at times.

The dud by Gaudin was completely unexpected, considering he had allowed a combined five earned runs over his past three starts, including a stunning one-hitter of the Rangers -- in Arlington, Texas, no less -- over eight scoreless innings Sunday.

"I wasn't necessarily excited, but I maybe tried to do a little too much early," Gaudin said. "Some days, that's going to happen."

As for Ramirez, the Padres handled him pretty well. After the first-inning walk, Ramirez grounded out in the second inning and fourth innings and popped up to David Eckstein in short center field in his final at-bat in the sixth inning.

Ramirez was met with equal parts cheers and jeers from the crowd that appeared to be, based on sight alone, heavy in blue.

"From right field, it sounded like it was 50/50," Padres right fielder Tony Gwynn said. "The bottom line is when you're not winning ball games, less people come out to see you play. You know, we don't like it. We've got to win more ball games.

"What it boils down to is a team like the Dodgers is a nationally known team. All of over the country people like the Dodgers, kind of like the Cubs. When you're playing a team like that, and your team isn't winning ball games, there's a possibility that will happen."

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.