It is hard to believe that Ricky Nolasco was one of the Dodgers best pitchers in August, especially after his last three outings. His streak of poor starts continued on Wednesday against San Francisco in the Dodgers 6-4 loss.
Nolasco lasted 5.2 innings, and gave up eight hits for six runs with seven strikeouts. He put the Dodgers in an early hole in after loading the bases in the second inning on a double, hit-by-pitch, and single.
Tony Abreu, the ex-Dodger who hit a home run on Tuesday, bashed a triple just out of Yasiel Puig's reach in left-center field that scored three runs. Nolasco then gave up a two-run homer to Pablo Sandoval in the fourth inning putting them down 5-2.
Abreu burned him for one more run in the sixth, doubling in Hunter Pence to score the Giants' sixth, and final, run of the game.
Nolasco has combined for 17 earned runs in 12 innings in his last three starts. That is quite the far cry from his sterling month of August when he gave up just seven runs in 38.1 innings.
Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, and Matt Kemp combined to go 6-12 and scored all four Dodger runs. Kemp looked great, going 3-4 with several hard hit balls including a RBI double off the left field fence.
There was a black hole in the lineup the Dodgers top three batters. With Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Juan Uribe, and Mark Ellis all riding the bench, Michael Young, A.J. Ellis, Jerry Hairston, Skip Schumaker, and Nick Punto manned their positions and combined to go 1-17.
The Dodgers could not squeeze enough offense out of the top of the lineup to catch up to the damage done by Nolasco on the mound, leading to a 6-4 loss.
Out of the bullpen the Dodgers used Brandon League, J.P. Howell, and Carlos Marmol. They combined for 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, with Howell striking out the side in the seventh inning on 16 pitches.
On Thursday the Dodgers face the Giants for the final time of the season. They will be throwing Edinson Volquez against Tim Lincecum. The Dodgers currently sit 2.5 games behind St Louis for the top spot in the NL, and two games behind Atlanta for the second seed.