Flirting with no-no, Volquez, Padres falter in sixth

Flirting with no-no, Volquez, Padres falter in sixth

Flirting with no-no, Volquez, Padres falter in sixth

SAN DIEGO -- When a few calls in the fifth inning on Saturday didn't go in favor of Padres starter Edinson Volquez, it took him off his entire gameplan.

Volquez had planned to lean on his fastball more so than in his previous starts, and it worked well as he flirted with the first no-hitter in Padres history for the first five innings.

After a checked swing and a close call on a double play at first, the Dodgers took advantage and defeated the Padres, 6-1, in front of 43,267 at Petco Park -- the second sellout of the season.

The loss snapped the Padres' eight-game home winning streak, their longest since also winning eight straight from April 16-30 in 2010. The two teams will play the finale of their four-game series on Sunday.

Volquez cruised through the first four innings without allowing a hit, and then walked the bases loaded with one out in the fifth. However, Volquez grew frustrated because he thought he struck out Dodgers starter Zack Greinke on the at-bat that loaded the bases, but the umpire ruled Greinke checked his swing.

The next batter, Skip Schumaker, hit a ground ball to second baseman Logan Forsythe, who nearly turned it into an inning-ending double play. But Schumaker was called safe on a close play at first base. That allowed the Dodgers to score the first run of the game, still without recording a hit.

"It changed the whole plan," Volquez said. "We didn't get a call, so you have to go to another pitch. It's not what I had in mind."

Volquez escaped the fifth without any further damage, but the Dodgers would take advantage of some Padres miscues in the sixth.

The Friars' normally sure-handed defense committed two errors, the pitching staff walked three and 10 Dodgers came to the plate in a four-run frame.

Only one of the runs in that inning was earned, a leadoff home run to the opposite field by Adrian Gonzalez that marked Los Angeles' first hit of the game.

The Dodgers (31-42) would tack on two unearned runs later in the inning on an error by shortstop Pedro Ciriaco, who could've recorded the final out of the inning.

"The errors really aren't our game," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Our defense has been solid, but this is a game played by human beings. It's going to happen."

Schumaker drove home the final run in a rough inning that knocked Volquez (5-6) out of the game after throwing a season-high 108 pitches through 5 2/3 innings, with seven walks and seven strikeouts.

"From at-bat to at-bat was just a little bit of a variable, more so then when we've seen him on top of his game," Black said of Volquez's performance. "He was throwing the ball well. They didn't square many balls up and hit the ball hard. But the walks came back to bite him tonight."

The Dodgers tacked on another run in the seventh on a solo home run by Hanley Ramirez, and that was more than enough support for starter Zack Greinke (4-2), who turned in one of his best outings of the season.

The Padres didn't get a run until a leadoff double in the eighth by Yasmani Grandal, who then scored on a double by Jesus Guzman.

Greinke wasn't distracted by hype around a matchup with Carlos Quentin, who returned to the Padres' lineup after missing the past seven games (shoulder). Quentin charged the mound and broke Greinke's collarbone after the righty him with a pitch in a game on April 11, causing a benches-clearing incident.

There was nothing even close to a confrontation between the two players, and Quentin seemed as if he was just another batter against Greinke, who stuck out eight in eight innings and allowed one run.

"He was painting the fastball, both sides of the plate, just living on the edges," Black said. "The ball had some movement. I think he was able to cut the ball a little bit, he was sinking it and tailing it back over the outside corner. Today was about the fastball, actually about the fastball for both guys."

A moving fastball can be effective, and at times it was effective for Volquez, but at other times, he struggled to control it.

"That's the challenge for guys with a moving fastball," Black said. "To be able to command the movement, and Greinke today did it.

"Today was just a little bit too much Greinke."

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.