LOS ANGELES (AP) - Eric Stults pitched seven solid innings and the San Diego Padres threatened twice in the late innings. They just couldn't find a way to beat the rival Dodgers.
Stults gave up home runs to Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke, and rookie Yasiel Puig's pinpoint throw from right field completed a game-ending double play in San Diego's 2-1 loss against Los Angeles on Monday night.
San Diego put the potential tying run on first when Chris Denorfia walked with one out in the ninth. But Brandon League got Kyle Blanks to fly out to right and Puig fired to first base to double off Denorfia.
``You don't see that play very often,' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``Deno reacted well, hustled back, but I think the play was made by the strength of the arm and the accuracy of the throw.'
Stults (4-5) gave up six hits, struck out three and walked none.
``I'll take that every time from every one of our starters,' Black said. ``If you do that night in, night out, this team is going to win a lot of games.'
Gonzalez homered into the Padres' bullpen with two outs in the first inning. Van Slyke made it 2-0 in the second with a leadoff homer.
``I think that's where he likes the ball. It was probably just the wrong pitch selection there,' Stults said about Gonzalez. ``Tonight was a tough loss but we battled.'
The Padres cut it to 2-1 in the sixth on Chase Headley's RBI single that scored Alexi Amarista, who doubled. They had won five straight games at Dodger Stadium dating to last season, including a three-game sweep from April 15-17.
The Padres also threatened in the eighth when Everth Cabrera singled and stole second with one out. But Kenley Jansen retired the next two batters to end the inning.
``We couldn't sustain anything,' Black said. ``We've talked about that as a group, the ability to string hits together, but we just couldn't do it.'
Stephen Fife (1-0) allowed one run and five hits in 5 1-3 innings to earn his first major league win. The right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque earlier in the day to replace left-hander Chris Capuano, who was scratched because of a strained left triceps.
Fife made the second consecutive spot start for the injury-riddled Dodgers after Matt Magill filled in for Hyun-Jin Ryu in Sunday's 7-2 loss at Colorado. The 26-year-old right-hander made one previous start for Los Angeles on April 21 against Baltimore, resulting in a no-decision.
League pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances.
Puig batted leadoff and went 2 for 4 with two singles, including one in his first at-bat in the majors that drew high-fives from his new teammates. The 22-year-old Cuban defector also was brought up on the same day left fielder Carl Crawford went on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.
``I didn't see any video on him as far as his minor league at_bats so there wasn't a whole lot of scouting work there,' Stults said. ``He's one of those guys that you just kind of feel out and see his approach, then attack him from what you see in his early at_bats.'
NOTES: Cabrera had two stolen bases and now leads the majors with 23. ... The Dodgers turned four double plays, while the Padres had two. ... Padres OF Carlos Quentin was nursing a sore right shoulder after running into the wall on Sunday. Black said he likely would return to the lineup on Tuesday or Wednesday. Quentin has yet to face the Dodgers since he charged the mound and confronted Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke on April 11. Greinke broke his collarbone and Quentin was suspended eight games. ... Padres INF Yonder Alonso is regaining strength in his right hand and could be back in action later this week. He was hit on the hand by a pitch on Friday.
The Associated Press News Service
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