Padres' bullpen shines vs. Dodgers

Quackenbush, Maurer, Rodney combined for 3 scoreless

Padres' bullpen shines vs. Dodgers

SAN DIEGO -- Aside from the decision to name Fernando Rodney as closer, the Padres haven't assigned specific roles to their relievers. But the combination used during Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Dodgers at Petco Park seemed to work just fine.

Kevin Quackenbush, Brandon Maurer and Rodney pitched the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, respectively -- and none of the three surrendered a hit. The only baserunners allowed by the trio came on an error by shortstop Alexei Ramirez and a two-out walk by Rodney.

Maurer -- who was probably the most impressive of the three, recording two strikeouts and a fly out against the heart of the Dodgers' order -- spoke to the quality mix of experience and youth in the Padres 'pen.

"We've got a lot of veterans down there that have been doing it for 10-12 years," Maurer said. "They've got their thing figured out, and us young guys are just trying to pick their brains. I like the thing we've got going down there."

We'll get a clearer idea of the bullpen plans for first-year skipper Andy Green once the Padres have a late lead to protect. But using Quackenbush and Maurer to set up Rodney would seem to be a primary option -- with left-hander Matt Thornton sprinkled into the mix as matchups dictate.

"I thought Brandon Maurer was outstanding -- and Quack on back-to-back days," Green said. "... Fernando Rodney, we've got an off-day the day after tomorrow, so might as well get him out there today and get him going."

Now, it's just a matter of handing the bullpen a lead. The Padres' bats have struggled mightily in two losses this season, though Green thinks an offensive turnaround is imminent.

When that happens, Rodney, Maurer and Co. will be ready for the call.

"Get us the ball with the lead, and I think we'll be able to take care of it," Maurer said.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.