SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers rallied for two runs in the eighth inning Friday night, turning a one-run deficit into a 4-3 victory over the Padres at Petco Park. Justin Turner tied the game with an RBI single, and Alex Guerrero put the Dodgers on top for good with a pinch-hit, two-out knock off Padres reliever Shawn Kelley.
Aside from one blip -- a seventh-inning solo home run by Clint Barmes -- Clayton Kershaw was sharp, fanning 11 over 6 2/3 frames. In his past four starts Kershaw has looked like his old Cy Young-caliber self, with 39 strikeouts and just three runs in 28 2/3 innings.
"Tonight seemed to be a battle for Clayton command-wise," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "It shows you what kind of competitor he is, to fight and battle the whole game."
But Kershaw, who threw 117 pitches, wasn't especially efficient, and Mattingly opted to go to the bullpen with two outs in the seventh. Derek Norris followed by launching his seventh homer of the season, a two-run shot that gave San Diego its only lead of the night -- and a short-lived one.
"Guys were able to work some good counts and make [Kershaw] work a little bit more," said Barmes. "We were able to get his pitch count up, but it would have been nice to do it maybe an inning or two earlier."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bulletproof: In the first inning, Kershaw took a Justin Upton line drive off the left hip, but the ace remained in the game without taking a practice toss. According to Statcast™, the ball was projected to leave the bat traveling 107 mph.
D-No delivers: It didn't take Norris long to capitalize on an ugly Dodgers miscommunication. One pitch after Los Angeles let an infield pop drop 30 feet in front of home plate, Norris clobbered a fastball from Yimi Garcia into the lowest level of the Western Metal Supply Co. building, giving the Padres a 3-2 lead. More >
"He's been very good with runners in scoring position, no doubt about it," Padres manager Bud Black said of Norris. "You can put him there with Justin Upton as our two best offensive performers. … We've seen some big hits out of him."
BFF: Ellis, a .128 hitter coming in and playing because he is Kershaw's favorite catcher, drove in the second run with an RBI single. It was his third RBI of the season and first since May 26. Ellis also singled in the seventh inning and walked in the eighth.
Twin killing: Padres reliever Frank Garces loaded the bases in the seventh by walking the first two batters he faced on eight straight balls. But he got Gonzalez to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play, keeping the game within reach. Gonzalez was ejected between innings for arguing balls and strikes in the at-bat. More >
"I wanted him to eject me." -- Gonzalez
"Good curveball, probably the best one I've seen since we've faced him, and we've seen it a lot." -- Black on Kershaw's breaking ball Friday night
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Justin Upton swiped his 13th bag of the season Friday night, breaking on first move against Kershaw with two outs in the third inning. Upton hasn't been thrown out yet this year and is the only player in baseball to have more than eight stolen bases without being caught. The Padres' Matt Kemp, who struck out to strand Upton on second in the frame, is tied with Michael Brantley and Chris Owings for second on that list with seven steals.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: Starter Zack Greinke is 22-2 with a 2.06 ERA against division rivals since joining the Dodgers, and 5-1 against San Diego. His only decision against the Padres this year is a win and he's allowed them two runs in 20 2/3 innings.
Padres: The Padres have won both of Ian Kennedy's starts in June, but the veteran right-hander is still looking to find a groove. He starts Saturday night against the Dodgers in the second of three at Petco Park.