LOS ANGELES — Mike Bolsinger is in an unbeatable groove, and the punchless San Diego Padres had no answer for him.
Bolsinger retired his final 23 batters after giving up a leadoff single in the first inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Padres 2-0 Saturday night, sending the Padres to their sixth shutout loss in a span of 18 games.
"He kept them in between speeds all night long and executed pitches," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He just does a great job of teasing you. Just when you think you've got one to hit it dips out of the strike zone. And when you think it's going to be a ball it dips into the zone."
Bolsinger (3-0) struck out eight and walked none through eight innings in his fourth start of the season. Yangervis Solarte opened the game with a clean hit to right-center field, but was quickly erased on a double-play grounder by Cory Spangenberg, and the Padres didn't get another baserunner.
"Mike is very consistent, and he can use all of his pitches," said Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in three attempts since opening the season on the disabled list. "He's been using his secondary pitches well and locating his fastball. He's just making pitches out there, and that's why he's having a terrific season."
San Diego left fielder Justin Upton was ejected by plate umpire Clint Fagan in the eighth, one batter after he was called out on strikes.
The Dodgers acquired Bolsinger in a trade with Arizona on Nov. 22 for cash considerations. Last season, he was 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA during two stints with the Diamondbacks. But in four starts with the Dodgers, he has a 0.71 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings.
"I don't know. Something just clicked in my head. People ask me how I'm feeling and I'm just locked in now," Bolsinger said.
Ian Kennedy (2-4) lost his third straight start, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings with six strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander is 0-7 with a 5.48 ERA in his last 11 starts against the Dodgers.
One night after Pederson's go-ahead solo homer in the eighth inning off Joaquin Benoit helped the Dodgers win the series opener 2-1, he led off the bottom of the first inning with his team-high 12th of the season.
"That pitch was where I wanted it, but he's a very talented player and he did a really good job with it. It's frustrating," Kennedy said. "They've got a great lineup over there. And to give our team six solid innings, I was happy with that. But Bolsinger pitched a great game for them and shut our hitters down."
It was the third leadoff homer for the 23-year-old Pederson, tying Johnny Frederick of the 1929 Dodgers for the most in franchise history by a rookie. Pederson has nine homers and 28 strikeouts in 21 games since he was moved from eighth in the batting order to first on April 29.
The Dodgers, who totaled just four runs over their previous six games, got their second run against Kennedy when Adrian Gonzalez singled with two out in the sixth and scored on Justin Turner's double.
The Padres have scored only three runs during their four-game losing streak and are 0-22 this season when trailing after eight innings.
"We've been through this before, and these guys are going to get out of it," Kennedy said. "Our guys are too talented to go through a rut this long."
Padres third baseman Will Middlebrooks started at shortstop for the first time in eight seasons of professional ball and had only one ball hit to him — a grounder by Turner. He played shortstop regularly in high school, but was converted to third base by the Red Sox after they drafted him in 2007. Middlebrooks played two-thirds of an inning at short on May 10, but didn't have a ball hit to him.
COMINGS AND GOINGS:
Padres: Claimed LHP Eury De La Rosa off waivers him from the Dodgers and optioned him to Triple-A El Paso, four days after Los Angeles designated him for assignment. RHP Josh Johnson, recovering from Tommy John surgery, was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room for De La Rosa on the 40-man roster.
Dodgers: Placed C Yasmani Grandal on the seven-day concussion disabled list by the Los Angeles Dodgers and promoted Austin Barnes from Triple-A Oklahoma City to serve as Ellis' backup. Grandal, who came to the Dodgers from San Diego in the Matt Kemp trade on Dec. 18, was struck on the right side of the head by the follow-through of Solarte's swing in the third inning of Friday's game and took a foul tip off the mask off Kemp's bat in the fourth.
Padres: RHP James Shields (5-0) will try to start a season with six straight winning decisions for the second time in his 10-year career — and first since going 6-0 with a 3.04 ERA over his first 13 starts with Tampa Bay in 2007.
Dodgers: RHP Carlos Frias (3-1) has a 2.82 ERA in four starts this season, and one of his victories came in a relief role.