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Wild Volquez loses no-hit bid and game to Dodgers

Sunday - 6/23/2013, 12:27am  ET

San Diego Padres' Chris Denorfia leans away from the tag of Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis in the eighth inning of a baseball game in San Diego, Saturday, June 22, 2013. Denorfia was safe. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Edinson Volquez took a no-hitter into the sixth, and left with his first loss in six starts.

Wildness eventually got the better of the San Diego Padres starter, which helped the Los Angeles Dodgers secure a 6-1 victory on Saturday evening.

Volquez (5-6) allowed five runs -- two earned -- and a career-high seven walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Former Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez made sure San Diego would remain baseball's only team without a no-hitter when he homered for the Dodgers first hit leading off the sixth.

"Volquez had a good moving fastball working for him, but he got away with them swinging at a lot of balls outside the strike zone," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Eventually, the Dodgers walked. It finally came back to haunt him."

Dodgers starter Zack Greinke (4-2) never faltered. He allowed one run in eight sharp innings, of his best start of the year.

Greinke had a season-high eight strikeouts, allowed four hits and only pitched to two batters over the minimum through seven innings in his longest outing of the season.

"He was painting the fastball on both sides of the plate, just living on the edges," Black said. "His ball had tremendous movement."

Volquez's fastball had similar action, albeit with less command. That got him in trouble in the fifth inning, when he allowed a run on three walks and a fielder's choice by Skip Schumaker.

Volquez was clearly rattled by what be considered a shrinking strike zone and a close call on Schumaker first base that allowed a run to score.

"I was off the plate a little bit, but we got some bad calls that changed our game plan in that inning," Volquez said. "There were several moments where they missed the play. That inning could've been a different story."

Hanley Ramirez put the game out of reach with a solo home run in the seventh he launched into the third deck in left field that made it 6-0.

Greinke was dominant despite the buzz that surrounded his return to Petco Park and the prospect of facing Carlos Quentin. Greinke broke his collarbone in a brawl after hitting Quentin with a pitch April 11. Quentin was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Greinke.

The matchup didn't enhance Greinke's motivation.

"I don't think much about it," Greinke said. "It seems like you guys do, but it's just baseball to me. It felt like any other start."

Greinke was at his vintage best, which gave the Dodgers a lift after losing four of the previous five.

"When he's spot on with command, Zack is a fun pitcher to watch," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Location is such a big thing with him, and it was clear he was locked in. What you saw today is what we expect from a pitcher of his caliber. Hopefully he can keep going like this and help us turn things around."

Greinke didn't allow a hit until the fourth, when Chase Headley singled to right. He didn't allow a run until the eighth, when Jesus Guzman doubled in Yasmani Grandal from second base.

Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth and the Dodgers won for just the fourth time in 13 games. They're still mired in last place, but the win picked up the spirits of a floundering club.

"You hope this is the start of something special, a run that gets us back into the thick of things," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Then again, we've thought that before and said that before and it hasn't happened. We just need to go do it. It's time for us to start playing better."

Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig went 0 for 3 with two walks, marking just the third time in 18 games that he hasn't gotten a hit.

NOTES: Dodgers LHP Chris Capuano will starting Sunday's game against the Padres on short rest. Capuano asked for the opportunity following a solid start Wednesday, his first since coming off the 15-day disabled list. Mattingly said he would be limited to roughly 75 pitches. ... The Padres placed LHP Clayton Richard on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation and called up RHP Anthony Bass in a corresponding move. Black said that RHP Tim Stauffer, RHP Tyson Ross and LHP Robbie Erlin, currently in Triple-A Tucson, are candidates to replace Richard in the starting rotation. ... The Padres also promoted RHP Brad Boxberger from Triple-A Tuscon and optioned OF Jaff Decker back to Tucson. ... Padres 1B Kyle Blanks was a late scratch due to back soreness. Mark Kotsay played Blanks' position and took his No. 5 spot in the lineup. ... The Dodgers released veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez.


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