LOS ANGELES - The Dodgers came in search of revenge on Friday and left in search of their dignity.
On an evening when their long-time nemesis, San Diego right-hander Jake Peavy, bore no resemblance to a reigning Cy Young Award winner, the Dodgers found a way not to beat him anyway. They instead sputtered to their fourth consecutive loss, 7-5, to Peavy and the Padres in front of 54,052 at Dodger Stadium.
Six days earlier, Peavy dominated the Dodgers in a complete-game, two-hitter at Petco Park, after which still photos taken from a television broadcast showed a suspicious brown stain on Peavy's pitching hand he later implied was dirt and resin. Whatever it was, it hardly was an excuse for the Dodgers. At that point, Peavy had a career mark against them of 10-1 with a 2.21 ERA.
This time, Peavy seemed strangely hittable, a fact that actually might have mattered had he been facing any other team. Against the still-punchless Dodgers, though, he managed to pitch six innings, give up nine hits, strand five runners and put himself in position for the win.
The Dodgers finally did start to deliver with runners in scoring position in going 5 for 14, but only one of those hits actually drove in a run. That was a meaningless, two-out single in the ninth by Juan Pierre that scored Blake DeWitt from second. Jeff Kent, the Dodgers' cleanup hitter and whose primary role is to come through in those situations, struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Meanwhile, Andruw Jones, the five-time All-Star the Dodgers signed over the winter, went hitless in four at-bats to shave his average to .114. By the time he flied out to deep left and began jogging back toward the dugout, he was being showered with boos.
The Dodgers should have known what kind of an evening they were in for after the first inning, when Rafael Furcal led off with a bunt single, Pierre followed with a ground single up the middle and both runners advanced on a Peavy wild pitch that made the count 3-0 to Andre Ethier.
He then poked a sacrifice fly to left field on the next pitch. After Kent's single was hit too sharply to left field for even the fleet Pierre to score, James Loney hit into an inning-ending double play.