Solarte, Richard put Padres in win column

Solarte, Richard put Padres in win column

LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Richard blanked the Dodgers for eight innings and Yangervis Solarte homered as the Padres rebounded from an Opening Day drubbing with a 4-0 shutout of the Dodgers Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

San Diego scored two runs without hitting a ball hard in a 29-pitch first inning for Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda that included a walk, a hit-and-run bloop single, a sacrifice fly to shortstop and an infield hit. Solarte and Ryan Schimpf got the RBIs. Solarte increased the lead when he barreled a two-out home run in the third off Maeda, who pitched five innings.

"I thought Kenta got better as the game went on," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

Richard's leadership highlighted by gem

Richard's scoreless start

The Dodgers' offense, which scored 14 runs on Monday, was stifled by Richard in a repeat of their struggles last year, when they went 22-24 against left-handed starters and targeted the area for offseason improvement. The Dodgers hit into four double plays in the first six innings against Richard, who was 0-3 with a 5.81 ERA in his previous nine games against the Dodgers. He scattered five singles and retired 12 batters on ground balls in the eight innings, his longest outing since June 16, 2013.

"Tremendous job by Clayton tonight," said Solarte, who signed an extension with San Diego during the offseason. "He made everyone's job easier, getting ground balls in those situations."

Hand gets the final out

For the Padres, Erick Aybar had three hits, and both Manuel Margot and Wil Myers went 2-for-4. Richard -- who notched eight scoreless innings for the third time in his career and the first since 2012 -- was quick to deflect personal praise.

"The biggest thing is getting our first team win," Richard said. "At the beginning of the season, you want to get that out of the way. Winning's fun at any level, but especially at the big league level against the best talent and the best competition."

Wild Horse on the run: Solarte's home run had an exit velocity of 101.2 mph with a 33-degree launch angle, and the towering shot barely cleared the center-field fence. Just before that came Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig's running catch of Margot's looping fly down the right-field line, considered a "4-star" catch by Statcast™ with a catch probability of 35 percent. Puig, who converted six of 12 similar opportunities last season, ran 89 feet in 4.8 seconds on this one and then avoided a security guard in his path on the warning track.

Statcast: Puig's dashing grab

Wheels on Wil: Myers has challenged Travis Jankowski and Margot to a race. The Padres first baseman insists his speed is on par with that of the speedy outfield duo. In the first inning, he made his case, tagging and scoring from third base on a sacrifice fly -- to shortstop. Myers got a perfect read on Schimpf's pop to shallow left, and he slid home just ahead of the throw from Corey Seager, who made the catch while ranging backward.

Schimpf brings in Myers

"First at-bat of the game, Travis Jankowski recovers from 0-2 to walk. This team is going to grind. They're going to fight. They're going to do everything humanly possible to win a baseball game. That's the type of guys that are in that clubhouse right now. It shows in every single at-bat." -- Padres manager Andy Green

Richard joined the Padres on a free-agent deal in early August last year. He proceeded to record the highest ground-ball rate in the Majors during the second half of the season, at 63.9 percent. Since he developed his three-quarters arm slot, Richard has become one of the game's elite ground-ball pitchers. And -- including the double plays -- he recorded 16 of his 24 outs via ground balls on Tuesday.

Aybar starts another Padres DP

The Dodgers challenged a call by home-plate umpire Alfredo Marquez that Justin Turner was not hit by a Richard pitch with one on and one out in the sixth inning. Replays were inconclusive and the call was allowed to stand.

Turner not hit by the pitch

Padres: Born in Oceanside, Trevor Cahill grew up a Padres fan. He'll make his first start for his childhood team Wednesday when the Friars face the Dodgers at 7:10 p.m. PT. Cahill, who signed a one-year deal during the offseason, won his rotation spot with an impressive spring in which he posted a 3.26 ERA and more than one strikeout per inning.

Dodgers: Rich Hill got it together during the Freeway Series in his final Spring Training start, turning in 3 2/3 scoreless innings against the Angels. He starts Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. PT game against the Padres, whom he beat last September while allowing one hit in six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.