If the Dodgers had wasted eight brilliant innings from Clayton Kershaw -- as they were about to do -- they would have had to wait at least five long days for their ace to try to get them right again, writes Mark Saxon. Story
The left-hander was originally scheduled to start Friday, but he was moved up to give Zack Greinke extra rest for his sore elbow.
"I don't think I've ever seen anybody like this guy," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Tomorrow will be on to the next one and he'll be on a mission for that. A huge competitor."
Pitching on regular rest after Monday's day off, Kershaw bounced back from losing his previous start against Milwaukee after winning his 11 previous decisions. The two-time Cy Young Award winner retired 12 in a row before giving up his first hit -- a single by Ross -- with two outs in the sixth.
"My command was lacking the first couple of innings, but I was able to keep the pitch count down," Kershaw said.
Ross (11-12) held his own against Kershaw, retiring 12 straight after giving up his second hit in the third. The right-hander allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings, struck out eight and walked two.
Elite Company For Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw's streak of 13 games with at least 7 innings pitched and 6 K's while allowing 3 or fewer runs is the third-longest such streak in 100 years:
Randy Johnson ARI
Sandy Koufax LAD
Clayton Kershaw LAD
Felix Hernandez SEA
Curt Schilling PHI
Tom Seaver NYM
Carl Crawford reached on an infield single to the mound leading off the eighth and Turner followed with his fourth homer into the left-field pavilion, putting the Dodgers ahead 2-1.
"That was one of the most exciting moments of my career," Turner said. "We just try to pull together. Carl puts together a good at-bat. I caught a mistake off Ross."
Turner was 2 for 3 and is batting .362 with eight RBIs and eight runs scored in 17 games this month.
The Padres led 1-0 on Rene Rivera's RBI single in the seventh.
Los Angeles took two out of three against San Diego, and has won its last eight series against NL West opponents. Kershaw beat the Padres for the fourth consecutive time and improved to 11-6 against them in his career.
They are 20-12 against the Padres since the start of last season, with an 8-1-1 series record.
Ross fell to 0-4 against the Dodgers in his last five starts while receiving a combined three runs of support. He has a 2.67 ERA against them. "He's been pitching lights-out," Kershaw said. "He doesn't give much. His slider-fastball combination is pretty unbelievable."
Padres: Closer Joaquin Benoit had been bothered by shoulder problems, but he will avoid a DL stint. Manager Bud Black said Benoit could return Friday if he's feeling as good as he was on Thursday; if not, he will be ready on Saturday.
Dodgers: Mattingly said he believes Greinke's elbow isn't going to be a long-term problem. Infielder Juan Uribe, on the DL with a right hamstring strain, has resumed baseball activities. Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, on the DL with a right oblique strain, is doing well.
Padres: Odrisamer Despaigne (11-11, 2.70 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at Arizona. He made seven minor league starts after signing with the team on May 2. Despaigne is the second Cuban-born pitcher to appear in a game for the Padres and the first to make a start.
Dodgers: Struggling Dan Haren (10-10, 4.59) takes the mound in the series opener against the Mets. Last weekend, he allowed six runs on five hits in three innings in a 7-2 loss to Milwaukee.
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LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 21: Tyson Ross #38 of the San Diego Padres throws a pitch against the Los Angeles...