Richard extends his Dodgers domination

Richard extends his Dodgers domination

Was Tuesday night all Clayton Richard, a combination of Clayton Richard vs. the Dodgers or the fact that the Dodgers might again have trouble against left-handed pitching?

Richard held the Dodgers scoreless over eight innings at Dodger Stadium as the Padres won, 4-0, to even their record after suffering through a 14-3 Opening Day loss.

Richard threw 99 pitches. Sixty-eight went for strikes. He allowed five hits, all singles. He also issued two walks while striking out five. He averaged just over 12 pitches per inning.

But the key stat of the night was ground balls. The Padres turned 12 grounders induced by Richard into 16 outs. Four of those grounders were turned into double plays.

Richard is now 7-3 lifetime against the Dodgers in 17 career starts with a 3.27 ERA in 96 1/3 innings. He has struck out 56 Dodgers while walking 26. The last time a Padres left-hander worked eight scoreless innings against the Dodgers was Sept. 21, 2010 -- and the pitcher was Clayton Richard.

Also Tuesday night, Richard became the first Padres pitcher to work eight or more scoreless innings in a game since the 2014 season. His 79 game score was also the second-highest of his career.

Tuesday was also the longest Richard worked in a game since June 16, 2013, when he allowed just one run on eight hits over eight innings against Arizona. That was before two rounds of surgery.

But Tuesday was a continuation of struggles against left-handed pitchers for the Dodgers, who hit .214 against left-handers last season.

Since returning to the Padres as a free agent on Aug. 6, Richard is 4-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) covering 61 2/3 innings.

Game notes

• Second baseman Yangervis Solarte went 3-for-8 with a homer and three RBIs in the season's first two games. In his last eight games against the Dodgers, Solarte is hitting .452 (14-for-31) with a double, three home runs and eight RBIs.

Erick Aybar, the Padres' fourth Opening Day shortstop in as many seasons, reached base in all four plate appearances Tuesday night, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. Aybar went 3-for-5 in the season's first two games.

• Center fielder Manuel Margot has four multihit games in his first 12 Major League games. He was 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored Tuesday night and is off to a 3-for-8 start on the season with a double and a RBI.

• All three of the Padres' Rule 5 picks -- right-handed reliever Miguel Diaz, catcher Luis Torrens and infielder Allen Cordoba -- made their Major League debuts in Monday's season-opening 14-3 loss at Dodger Stadium.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.