By Jay Paris, The Sports Xchange
LOS ANGELES -- San Diego's Drew Pomeranz threw a pitch that didn't register on the radar gun. This offering was one that screamed he belongs in next week's All-Star Game in San Diego.
The left-hander hurled seven scoreless innings in beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 on Thursday night. Pomeranz (8-7) was sensational in blanking the Dodgers, scattering two hits and two walks. He struck out six in his fourth consecutive quality start.
Just maybe it was good enough to get Pomeranz on the roster, if another pitchers bails out.
"He deserves to be in the game," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I think he's clearly a candidate."
Pomeranz said it's out of his hands.
"My goal is to go out there and do what I did," he said. "I don't know what else I'm supposed to do other than that."
Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-1), in his first appearance in 640 days, struggled in his return from shoulder surgery. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings, surrendering six runs on eight hits with two walks. He struck out four, but never did look comfortable.
"Getting him back on the mound was a victory in itself," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "To see him take the mound tonight was great, although we had hoped for some better results. But there was some good things in there."
The Padres, who have won 11 of their last 17 games, scored single runs in three of the first four innings and three in the fifth to take the first contest of the three-game series. Melvin Upton Jr. hit a homer and Alex Dickerson added a two-run triple for San Diego.
The way Pomeranz is producing, there's a chance he could be added to the National League All-Star roster for Tuesday's All-Star Game in San Diego if another pitcher bows out. Already owning one of the league's best ERAs and batting-average-against, Pomeranz did little to hurt his stock with a dazzling performance that kept the Dodgers stymied.
The Dodgers, who didn't fare any better against relievers Ryan Buchter and Paul Clemens, lost to the Padres for only the fifth time in their last 16 pairings.
"Pomeranz has had a real nice first half," Roberts said. "We just couldn't get any momentum against him. You got to give Pomeranz credit."
Consecutive doubles in the fifth by Matt Kemp and Yangervis Solarte pushed the Padres in front 4-0. Yasiel Puig then misplayed Alex Dickerson's liner into a triple, scoring Solarte to make it 5-0.
It was in the fifth inning that Ryu's fastball dropped from sitting in the 90s to the 80s.
"My velocity went down but I will have to adjust," Ryu said through a translator. "I know I will get so much better and pitch more innings."
The Dodgers' best scoring chance in the game's early stages came in the fourth as Trayce Thompson reached third after a one-out double. But A.J. Ellis popped up to Wil Myers to end the threat.
The Padres, fresh off scoring 13 runs in a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, didn't waste any time on Thursday in grabbing a 1-0 lead.
A resurgent Melvin Upton Jr. continues to shine as he smacked his 14th homer of the year to open the game. Upton's home run total is his most since he hit 28 with Tampa Bay in 2012.
San Diego pushed its advantage to 2-0 in the second when an inning-opening walk to Derek Norris cost Ryu. That misstep would eventually extend the inning to allow Pomeranz to hit a two-out, four-hopper up the middle for an RBI single, scoring Dickerson.
The Padres tacked on another run in the fourth to go up 3-0.
Norris opened with an infield single on a fine play by Corey Seager, but Seager's throwing error allowed Norris to take second. He moved to third on a ground out and, with the infield up, Alexei Ramirez hit a run-scoring double off the base of the fence in center field.
NOTES: San Diego 1B Wil Myers will participate in Monday's Home Run Derby. It's the first time Myers, who has a career-high 19 home runs this season, has been selected. Los Angeles rookie SS Corey Seager (17 home runs) is also in the Home Run Derby. ... Padres RHP Tyson Ross (shoulder) remains on the disabled list and has also sustained a sprained ankle. Ross was hurt Wednesday while exercising in his hotel room in Phoenix and stayed behind at the team's training camp facility. ... Dodgers 2B Chase Utley was out of the lineup, one game after getting six hits. ... Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said LHP Clayton Kershaw (back) reported no setbacks Thursday after playing catch Wednesday.
By Jay Paris, The Sports Xchange