LOS ANGELES (AP) — A.J. Ellis hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 1-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
Adrian Gonzalez greeted Kevin Quackenbush (1-2) with a leadoff double before Matt Kemp struck out and Andre Ethier was intentionally walked. Juan Uribe then worked out a seven-pitch walk that included two checked swings that were upheld on appeal by first base umpire Jim Wolf. Padres manager Bud Black then employed a drawn-in five-man infield, but Ellis was able to lift a 1-2 pitch to right field.
Kenley Jansen (1-3) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory, striking out cleanup hitter Yasmani Grandal with runners at first and second. The Dodgers’ victory, coupled with San Francisco’s loss, put the Dodgers back in front of the Giants by a full game in the NL West.
Dodgers left-hander Paul Maholm, coming out of the bullpen to make a spot start for the injured Josh Beckett, threw 64 pitches through the first six innings – using just nine in the first, third, fourth and sixth. The only hits against him were singles in the fourth and seventh by Chase Headley, whose solo homer in Thursday’s series opener ended Clayton Kershaw’s string of 41 consecutive scoreless innings.
Maholm, who came in 1-6 with a 4.27 ERA in his eight previous career starts against San Diego, was lifted by manager Don Mattingly after Headley’s leadoff hit. Brandon League finished the seventh after retiring Carlos Quentin on a double-play grounder to third with his second pitch.
Ian Kennedy held the Dodgers to three hits over eight innings and struck out eight, after back-to-back victories over Cincinnati and Colorado. This was the third straight start in which he pitched at least six innings while allowing fewer than two earned runs, and the ninth overall under those circumstances. St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright leads the NL with 12 such outings.
The Dodgers had a pair of harmless singles through the first six innings before Kennedy issued a leadoff walk in the seventh to Kemp, who was thrown out trying to steal by Rene Rivera. Ethier also walked, and Uribe followed with a single before Ellis flied out and Miguel Rojas fouled out to Rivera.
Dodgers All-Star right fielder Yasiel Puig was ejected by umpire David Rackley after he took a called third strike to end the third inning. His only other ejection in the majors was on June 11, 2013 – his ninth big league game – after a bench-clearing incident that also involved Kennedy.
NOTES: By virtue of Puig’s ejection, Ethier and Kemp found themselves at the same positions they had for most of their careers before Puig came along. Ethier moved from center to right, Kemp from left to center, and Carl Crawford went in to play left. … Maholm made his eighth start this season and first since May 14 against the Marlins, when he was charged with 10 runs – five earned over 3 2-3 innings in a 13-3 loss at Dodger Stadium. … The Padres are taking advantage of the four-day All-Star break by optioning RHP Jesse Hahn (5-2, 2.21 ERA) to Triple-A El Paso after he pitched six innings of three-hit ball Friday night in his seventh big league start and beat the Dodgers 6-3. Manager Bud Black said the club will continue to keep a close eye on Hahn’s innings the rest of the season. … INF Jace Peterson was recalled by the Padres to fill in for injured 1B Tommy Medica, who was removed from Thursday’s game because of tightness in his groin and remains on the active roster. … The Dodgers’ rotation coming out of the break will be Dan Haren on Friday, followed by Greinke, Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Beckett – if he is healthy enough to be reinstated from the disabled list. Beckett was placed on the DL July 7, the day after he pitched five scoreless innings at Colorado and felt an impingement in his left hip while running the bases. … Kershaw shaved off his scraggly beard for Sunday night’s trip to Minnesota and his fourth career All-Star game.