- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Hyun-Jin Ryu did his part for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The left-hander handed over a lead to his bullpen.

That’s when it all fell apart.

Brian Wilson surrendered Seth Smith’s tying solo homer during San Diego’s three-run eighth, and the Dodgers went on to a 3-1 loss to the Padres in baseball’s North American opener Sunday night.

Wilson started the eighth after Ryu threw seven scoreless innings. Smith’s first hit with the Padres came on a 2-0 pitch, and the leadoff drive sailed an estimated 360 feet into the right-field seats.

It was Smith’s seventh career pinch-hit homer. He was acquired in an offseason trade with Oakland for reliever Luke Gregerson.

Wilson (0-1) walked pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal, who advanced when the veteran reliever couldn’t handle Everth Cabrera’s bunt for an error. Grandal stole third and Cabrera took second on indifference before Chris Denorfia hit a bouncer up the middle to bring them both in.

“We’d like to have a few more runs,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s the blueprint for us. When your back end is as good as ours, you’re going to feel pretty good at that point.”

Ryu got the start after reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw was scratched due to a swollen back muscle and then placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his seven-year career.

In a scheduling quirk, the left-hander started consecutive regular-season games. He made his season debut a week earlier, when the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks in their second game in Australia.

Ryu retired 16 in a row from the second inning until one out in the seventh. He then walked rookie Tommy Medica, who was then erased in a 3-6-3 double play.

Ryu allowed three hits, struck out seven and walked three.

Mattingly said Ryu threw “maybe about as good as we’ve seen him. He used all his pitches. He was really, really good.”

Said Wilson: “It’s more difficult to deal with the fact that Ryu pitched such a marvelous game, especially after that first and second innings, to be able to get out of that and shut the other team down for a strong seven, it’s a hard one to swallow.”

The Padres stranded two runners in each of the first two innings.

Smith homered on a cutter.

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