Despite an early exit from starting pitcher Clayton Richard, who was removed from the game with a shoulder injury after throwing just two pitches, the San Diego Padres were able to win their second consecutive game over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Losses by the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies helped push the surging Padres into second place in the NL West, trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks by 2.5 games.
Tim Stauffer (1-0) and Tyson Ross, both of whom had been working as long relief pitchers out of the San Diego bullpen, combined to give up just one run in the first seven innings on Friday night’s 5-2 victory over the Dodgers after replacing Clayton Richard. Dale Thayer gave up one more run in the eighth before Huston Street came in to get the save in the ninth inning.
Clayton Kershaw (5-5), who has arguably been the best pitcher in all of baseball over the last three seasons, was roughed up by a Padres lineup that is still missing plenty of its big hitters. They got to him early, with Chris Denorfia’s first inning solo home run and a rally in the third inning that included a two-RBI triple from Chase Headley and a RBI single by Kyle Blanks. It wasn’t a dominant offensive showing but, on a night when the pitching was spectacular, it didn’t need to be.
Denorfia went 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs and was the only player besides Logan Forsythe to finish the game with more than one hit. The Padres, as a team, left 7 men on base. Compared to the Dodgers’ 17 men left on base, you can see that San Diego offense on this night was based around timely hitting.
Dodgers’ phenom Yasiel Puig went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored, raising his batting average to .455 and marking his 11th multi-hit game in just 17 games played. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, Adrian Gonzalez and A.J. Ellis combined for an 0-for-8 night, leaving eight men on base between the two of them.
The Padres have gone 8-2 in their last ten games and they don’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. They have once again found a formula for winning with the players who are healthy after losing two games to the Giants last week and are hoping that these two victories mark the start of another lengthy winning streak.