Rookie tallies third straight quality start entering All-Star break
By Jack Baer
LOS ANGELES -- Luis Perdomo could have been forgiven if he felt discouraged during his start against the Dodgers. A hostile crowd, nine hits allowed, close calls not going his way, and all against the team that lit him up in his Major League debut.
Instead, Perdomo delivered his third straight quality start and fourth in five games. He ended up taking the 4-3 loss at Dodger Stadium, but he continued to show the progress he has made since getting picked up in the Rule 5 Draft.
"I think it's right in line with what he's done recently," Padres manager Andy Green said. "Everything was on the ground for the most part. If we make plays behind him a little bit more consistently, he's going to allow less runs. He was very good. Young kid on the mound at Dodger Stadium, he gave us an opportunity to win the baseball game."
The sinker was again clearly working for Perdomo, who had 17 of his 18 outs come on the ground or via strikeout.
It's a performance that's a far cry from Perdomo's MLB debut, in which he allowed six runs in a single inning of relief. In total, he entered Saturday with a 14.14 ERA against Los Angeles. All three of his appearances came in April and May though, when Green said he was a different pitcher.
"I'm working really hard on keeping my body in shape and working hard on all my pitches in the bullpen," Perdomo said through an interpreter. "My sinker, my slider, everything. I'm feeling a lot more relaxed and a lot more confident out there on the mound."
While Perdomo allowed four runs (two earned), they did not come without controversy. A bases-loaded double by Howie Kendrick could have been fair or foul, with the fair call being close enough that Green went onto the field to argue. An inning later, Justin Turner may or may not have violated MLB's slide rule as he tried to break up Alexei Ramirez's relay to first on a double play. The Padres challenged, but the call that Turner didn't violate the rule was confirmed.
In the at-bats following each call, the Dodgers registered five outs in four plate appearances, every single one on the ground. Perdomo might have disagreed with the calls, but it didn't stop him from doing his job.
"In my debut, I was really nervous. Now, I'm a lot more relaxed. Just went out there, pitched, and played baseball," Perdomo said.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.