LOS ANGELES (AP) - Mat Latos pitched a solid game and then his San Diego Padres teammates had the Los Angeles Dodgers on the ropes in the ninth inning.
They loaded the bases against rookie Javy Guerra, who shrugged off the pressure to get three consecutive outs and preserve a 1-0 victory for the Dodgers on Friday night.
``We put ourselves in opportunities and we're not cashing in,' Padres manager Bud Black said.
In the ninth, Cameron Maybin led off with a double to right and Guerra hit Anthony Rizzo on the left foot with his next pitch. Guerra then hit Rob Johnson on his right hand with the next pitch.
``They opened the door for us,' Black said. ``Cam hit a bullet, which was legit, and then their guy gave us a golden opportunity that we couldn't cash in on.'
Guerra settled down and struck out pinch-hitter Kyle Phillips and Will Venable before Jason Bartlett's line drive to center field was caught by Matt Kemp to end the game and give the Dodgers their second straight shutout.
``For a young guy, that's really impressive. He's obviously got good stuff. It's electric stuff,' Johnson said.
Latos (5-10) allowed five hits and one run in 7 1-3 innings, struck out six and walked two to lose his second straight and remain winless at Dodger Stadium in four career starts.
``Johnny (Rob Johnson) called an unbelievable game. To be honest, this was his doing, not mine. He was inside my head the whole time,' Latos said. ``It was the pitches that he wanted and he told me exactly where it wanted it. I threw it and I executed it. I had really good command of my fastball. I was able to put it down and away to right-handers and left-handers. My velocity was there and everything was really smooth.'
Guerra earned his third save in as many chances after Chad Billingsley scattered four hits over eight innings and Rafael Furcal singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth.
``I just made big pitches when I needed to,' Billingsley said.
Billingsley (8-7) struck out four and walked a season-high five. It was the fourth consecutive start the right-hander had allowed fewer than two runs through the first six innings and he won only one of those games. In his previous start, Billingsley took a shutout into the seventh inning against the Angels last Saturday. He gave up three runs in that inning and lost 3-1.
Billingsley was pinch-hit for in the eighth by Jamey Carroll, who sacrificed pinch-runner Trent Oeltjen to second after A.J. Ellis led off with a single. Oeltjen was held up at third by coach Tim Wallach on a single to right by Tony Gwynn Jr. But Furcal singled on an 0-1 pitch to break the scoreless tie and chase Mat Latos, who got a visit from manager Bud Black just before that at-bat.
``He's been in that situation and it goes back to his pitching days,' Latos said. ``He knows what's going on out there. He asked me how I was and I told him I was fine, and I really was.'
The Padres got a runner to third base in the first inning before Billingsley retired the final two batters. Billingsley pitched with runners on base in every inning except the seventh, when Rizzo and Johnson both flied out to the warning track.
The Dodgers didn't advance a runner past first base through seven innings.
NOTES: The Dodgers tied Atlanta for the second-most shutouts in the NL with 10. ... The Padres were shut out for the 14th time this season. ... The Dodgers fired former All-Star 1B Steve Garvey on Friday for his attempts to try to buy the team from owner Frank McCourt. Garvey, who worked in marketing and community relations, had been with the organization for 30 years. ... It was the fourth time this season Billingsley pitched more than seven innings. He didn't win any of the first three. ... The Padres recalled C Luis Martinez from Triple-A Tucson and placed C Nick Hundley on the 15-day DL with a strained right elbow.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved