SAN DIEGO -- Starving for runs, scuffling for momentum and longing for that first victory, the Padres took a different approach at the plate Saturday in their bid to climb back into a game that appeared lost after four scant innings at Petco Park.
They took pitches instead of swinging at them.
Typically, that won't get a team very far, and though the Padres pieced together a five-run fifth inning to tie the game by looking at more pitches than actually connecting with them, in the end it was the Dodgers who pulled away for a 6-5 victory in 11 innings before a crowd of 31,909.
"We did a good job of competing tonight. That's the one thing I like," said Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin, who prolonged the inning by beating out what would have been a double-play ground ball prior to the Dodgers pitchers walking four consecutive batters.
But the Padres' most spirited and easily their most competitive game of this young season still ended in defeat, as the team has opened the season with three consecutive losses -- the first time that it has done so since 2003.
The Dodgers (3-0) will attempt to sweep the series on Sunday and send the Padres to a fourth loss in as many games, something that has not occurred to the club since the strike-shortened season of 1994 -- the season that saw Tony Gwynn flirt with a .400 batting average before settling at .394.
"There's no question we're off to a little bit of a slow start," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It's still a real small sample-size but some guys are off to tough starts."
The Padres finished with all of four hits on Saturday against eight Dodgers pitchers and have 12 hits and eight runs to show for their first three games. Chase Headley is hitless in 11 at-bats with six strikeouts. Nick Hundley doesn't have a hit in 10 at-bats.
Yonder Alonso has one hit in 10 at-bats and that came in the second inning Saturday. Orlando Hudson has one hit in 11 at-bats, though it rated as a big one in this game.
Dodgers pitcher Chris Capuano began the game with four scoreless innings but, staked to a 5-0 lead, lost his command in the fifth inning when he allowed a hit and three walks, one leading directly to a run when Headley walked to make it 5-1.
The inning really got wild after Capuano left and reliever Jamey Wright walked two with the bases loaded to force in two runs to make it 5-3. Wright threw eight pitches, all of them balls.
Relief pitcher Scott Elbert entered the game only to uncork a wild pitch that allowed a fourth run in the inning to score. After Elbert hit Alonso with a pitch, the next batter, Hudson, singled to left field to drive in a run that tied the game.
"Momentum gets a little crazy," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
All told, the Padres parlayed five walks, a wild pitch, a hit batter and two singles into five runs and finally felt their luck had changed.
It was Maybin's feet that helped extend the inning as he beat a relay throw from second baseman Mark Ellis on a ground ball to Gordon at shortstop.
"I liked the approach ... we were patient and the game was in our grasp," Maybin said. "But you know, funny things happen in this game."
San Diego starting pitcher Dustin Moseley didn't find anything humorous about his start, in which he allowed five runs on five hits in five innings. A two-out walk in the third inning to speedy leadoff hitter Dee Gordon, who reached base five times, prolonged an inning that later saw Matt Kemp drive in a run with a single and Andre Ethier hit a two-run double for a 4-0 lead.
"Two out walks ... usually bad things happen," Moseley said. "He's a scrappy guy [Gordon]. But I have got to make better pitches. Two-out walks shouldn't happen to a pitcher like me."
It only figures that Gordon had a hand in the victory, as his single to right field in the 11th inning off of pitcher Anthony Bass (0-1) allowed A.J. Ellis to score the go-ahead run.
"He had a good night, had a few hits and played a good shortstop," Black said. "The Dodgers think a lot about this guy."