SAN DIEGO -- After using five relievers on Opening Day, the Dodgers needed a strong outing from starter Chad Billingsley against the Padres on Friday night.
The right-hander delivered in dominant fashion, helping the Dodgers spare their taxed bullpen. Billingsley struck out 11 in 8 1/3 innings in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory over the Padres at Petco Park. He allowed three hits and a walk.
Billingsley exited after allowing a one-out single to Cameron Maybin in the ninth. He threw 108 pitches, 70 for strikes. Jamey Wright got the final two outs.
On offense, the Dodgers chased left-hander Cory Luebke from the game in the fifth inning. Luebke allowed six runs (five earned) and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Andre Ethier smacked a two-run double and a two-run triple.
Starting pitching. Illness limited ace Clayton Kershaw to just three innings Thursday. Friday, Billingsley was dominant from the beginning. He started strong by striking out all three batters he faced in the first inning. He also struck out the side in the third inning. He gave up leadoff doubles in both the second and fourth innings but escaped trouble. Friday was the ninth game Billingsley has struck out at least 10 in his career.
Attack early. The Dodgers jumped on Luebke early, scoring two runs and three hits in the first inning. After Mark Ellis and Juan Rivera each singled, Ethier drove a two-run double to right center for a 2-0 lead. Earlier, Matt Kemp narrowly missed his second home run in as many days. Right fielder Will Venable caught his deep fly ball against the scoreboard.
Capitalizing. The Dodgers took advantage of the Padres’ miscues, scoring two runs when the Padres committed two errors in the third inning. Ellis started things with a one-out double. Kemp reached on an infield single, and Ellis scored after first baseman Yonder Alonso threw wildly to the plate for the first error. Kemp then took third on Luebke’s errant throw to second base on a pickoff attempt and scored on Rivera’s single over shortstop Jason Bartlett. In the fifth inning, Ethier smashed a two-run triple after Luebke allowed a single and walk.
Ks. It’s nitpicking on a good offensive day, but the Dodgers struck out quite a bit, nine times total. They fanned six times against Luebke.
Against the bullpen. After scoring six runs off Luebke, the Dodgers were shutout by the Padres bullpen. Reliever Micah Owings allowed a single and a walk in 3 1/3 shutout innings. Andrew Cashner allowed a walk in the ninth.
Bottom third of the lineup. The Dodgers’ 7-8-9 hitters -- Juan Uribe, A.J. Ellis and Billingsley -- were 0-for-10 with four strikeouts and a walk.