McCarthy makes it 2 in row off major surgery, Dodgers top SD

LOS ANGELES (AP) Brandon McCarthy couldn't find his best stuff. Thankfully for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the bullpen could. Again.

Despite his struggles, McCarthy won his second straight start after a 14-month recovery from Tommy John surgery, and the Dodgers scored a disputed run to beat the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Saturday.

''I hadn't really had one yet, coming through the minor leagues, a day where it felt totally foreign, but today it did,'' McCarthy said.

''Yesterday, the ball felt perfect in my hand,'' he said. ''Today it felt like I was throwing a football.''

McCarthy (2-0) gave up three runs in five innings, including a first-inning, two-run homer by Yangervis Solarte.

The right-hander retired 10 of the next 12 hitters, holding the Padres to a pair of walks. McCarthy's win came six days after he threw five scoreless innings in his return from major surgery.

Going five innings meant the Dodgers bullpen needed to come up big. Again. Los Angeles relievers have thrown 28 innings over the last six games.

''I know I've asked a lot of them, but to a man, they've responded,'' manager Dave Roberts said.

''I think we're looking forward to getting to that break. With those guys, they're prepared. They're taking care of themselves. I'm trying to be mindful of their usage, but still trying to win baseball games.''

Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore got two outs for his club-record 24th consecutive scoreless appearance. He broke the mark of 23 set by John Candelaria in 1991, but didn't know it at the time.

''Dave was coming out, and Yas (Dodger catcher Yasmani Grandal) came out and said, `Congrats.' And I didn't know what he was talking about,'' he said. ''It seemed like a really weird thing to say in that situation. I'm getting pulled and the guy's saying, `Congrats.'''

Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth for his 26th save.

It was 3-all in the fifth when Corey Seager scored from second base on a throwing error by shortstop Alexei Ramirez as he tried to complete a double play.

With runners at first and second, Adrian Gonzalez hit a high bouncer to second baseman Ryan Schmipf, who threw to Ramirez for a forceout.

Justin Turner slid toward the outfield side of second base - which he grabbed as he went by - and Ramirez made a wide throw that glanced off the glove of first baseman Wil Myers. The Padres challenged the call, but replay upheld the original ruling that Turner's slide was legal.

''You're running along the grass and then the next that you know, you're 6 feet outside of the grass, so you clearly at some point in time changed his path,'' Padres manager Andy Green.

''Was it not close enough to call? I guess that's what they decided,'' he said.

Solarte homered over the fence in right-center field to give the Padres a 2-0 lead in the first. Over his last 19 games, Solarte is hitting .380 (27 for 71) with seven doubles, four homers and 16 RBIs.

Luis Perdomo (3-4) took the loss.

POMERANZ TO PETCO

Padres starter Drew Pomeranz (8-7, 2.47) was picked on Saturday to the National League's All-Star team for the first time in his career.

''He's earned everything he's gotten this year,'' Green said. ''He's definitely rewarded the front office for the faith it had trading for him, and understanding the type of pitcher he could be, and is.''

MOST IN MAJORS

Travis Jankowski easily stole second on the first pitch to Solarte in the first inning, his ninth theft in 16 games since June 21, the most in the majors during that stretch.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: C Derek Norris was back in the starting lineup after leaving Friday night's game with a right quad contusion suffered in a first-inning collision with Dodgers 2B Chase Utley. ''He regenerates quickly,'' Green said. ''He took a shot. It's a testament to how tough he is. We waited to post the starting lineup to see if he was capable of going.''

Dodgers: RHP Julio Urias will head to the minors to learn to pitch in relief, Roberts said before the game. The Dodgers want the 19-year-old to learn to pitch in a variety of situations before reaching a team-imposing innings cap. The Dodgers will make the move after the All-Star break, Roberts said. ... OF Andre Ethier (fractured tibia), out since spring training, is playing catch, taking swings in the batting cage. ''He's more of a baseball player now,'' Roberts said. The Dodgers are hoping he'll return in early August.

NEXT UP

Padres: LHP Christian Friedrich (4-4, 4.42) starts in Sunday's finale before the All-Star Game. After posting a 3-1 record with a 2.12 ERA over his first six appearances for the Padres, Friedrich is 1-3 with an 8.31 ERA over his last five. He's given up six home runs in those five appearances.

Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (7-6, 3.07) hopes to right himself after three starts in which he's gone 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA, giving up three home runs along the way.

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