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Quick hits: Padres top Dodgers in stateside opener

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Brian Wilson of the Dodgers didn't enjoy his finest outing on Sunday. (USATSI)
Brian Wilson of the Dodgers didn't enjoy his finest outing on Sunday. (USATSI)

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The Padres kicked off the stateside 2014 season by taking on the 2-0 Dodgers in Petco. The hosts wound up handing the Dodgers their first loss by a margin of 3-1. Now let's dig a little deeper ...

Hero: The starting pitchers. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Andrew Cashner (pictured, gloriously, here) combined to allow one run in 13 innings while striking out 12, walking five and giving up seven hits. Cashner in particular wowed us several times with a two-seamer that's looking nastier than ever.

Goat: Brian Wilson. The be-bearded Dodger reliever got cuffed around pretty good Sunday night. He took the ball to start the eighth staked to a 1-0 lead and promptly gave up a home run to pinch-hitter Seth Smith. Then he walked Yasmani Grandal. Then he bobbled an Everth Cabrera bunt and allowed him to reach. Then Grandal stole a base for the first time in his professional career. Then Cabrera advanced. Then Chris Denorfia notched a two-RBI single. Then Wilson was lifted in favor of retread Chris Perez. Not a good outing for the $10-million setup man. Wilson, that is.

Turning point: Smith's homer. It was the first homer Wilson had given up to a left-handed batter since current teammate Andre Ethier took him long in September of 2010. Sure, Wilson's missed significant time because of injury within that span, but coming into Sunday night he'd given up just five career homers to lefties. In fact, Wilson's shown slight reverse-platoon tendencies over the course of his career.

It was over when: Denorfia's full-count, two-run single to center pushed the margin to 3-1 and gave the Pads, per FanGraphs, a 95.8 percent chance of winning the game. That's precisely what they did, as Dale Thayer and Huston Street logged the final six outs.

Next: The Dodgers and Padres will meet again on Tuesday in the second game of the series, as Zack Greinke opposes Ian Kennedy. You'll recall that those two hurlers have a bit of recent history.

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