It was merely an exhibition, a chance for scrubs to strut their stuff. But for Vicente Padilla, it was his last chance to show the Dodgers he belonged on the postseason rotation. The righty struck out ten, including the first five batters en route to a 5-3 win. Padilla went five innings, giving up only one run on four hits without walking anybody. Brad Ausmus had the honor of managing the finale in keeping with Joe Torre’s tradition of letting veterans be the skipper for a day. Jim Thome and Juan Castro were the hitting coaches, Mark Loretta was the bench coach, bullpen catcher Mike Borzello was the pitching coach, and Jeff Weaver was the bullpen coach.
The Dodgers started where they left off on Saturday, scoring four runs in the first inning. A.J. Ellis had the first hit of his career, and it also led to his first RBI. Doug Mientkiewicz had three hits in his first start of the season, Casey Blake drove in two runs, and Orlando Hudson hit a double. Chin-Lung Hu was 2-for-4 and doubled as well.
Playoffs begin on Wednesday against St. Louis at 6:37 PST. Randy Wolf will get the ball to start Game 1, and Chris Carpenter will go for the Red Birds.