LOS ANGELES -- San Diego manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley were faced with extenuating circumstances that forced them to start Kevin Correia on three days' rest. They weren't disappointed.
Correia retired his final 15 batters in a sterling six-inning performance, and the Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Wednesday night.
"Watching every start he's made and every side session led Darren and I to think that he would have no problem pitching on three days' rest," Black said. "He's relieved in the past, so the frequency's been there in his career. I just felt from a strength standpoint he'd be fine."
Correia (3-4) did not allow a baserunner after giving up a leadoff single in the second inning to Rafael Furcal. The right-hander threw 81 pitches, allowing one run and four hits without a walk in his 58th career start. It was the first time he had fewer than four days' rest between starts in the big leagues. He had four strikeouts.
"I was a little sluggish early. But once I got loosened up, I felt all right," Correia said. "I just made some good pitches, got ahead of a lot of guys and stayed in the strike zone enough to keep them aggressive. That's the way I have to pitch."
Correia, who threw 83 pitches in six innings in his 6-4 win on Saturday against Arizona, was moved up in the rotation after Black was forced to use Chad Gaudin in relief for two innings in Sunday's 18-inning loss to Arizona.
"There wasn't a set pitch limit tonight," Black said. "He'd retired 15 in a row, so taking him out was a tough call. But I didn't want to push him, and I felt our bullpen had recovered from the 18-inning game."
One night after hitting four solo homers against Chris Young, the defending NL West champion Dodgers managed only four singles against Correia, who allowed three runs and five hits against them in a no-decision on April 9.
Heath Bell got three outs for his major league-leading 18th save in 19 chances.
Bell's save percentage is almost the same through 59 games this season as all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman's was for the Padres at the same point last season.
Hoffman converted 15 of 18 save chances in 28 appearances through the team's first 59 games in 2008. He finished 30 of 34, but was not re-signed by San Diego after 15 seasons as their closer.
"Those are big shoes to fill," Black said. "I've tried to tell Heath, 'Just create your own footprints and don't step into Trevor's.' He's kept it all in perspective and he's done a great job of handling the responsibility. I'm very proud of him."
The Dodgers, who lead the majors with a 40-21 record, scored fewer than three runs for the eighth time in their last 13 games and 15th time overall. They came in leading the league in batting average, runs, hits and on-base percentage.
Clayton Kershaw (3-5) threw 83 pitches over 2 2/3 innings in the second-shortest of his 33 big league starts, giving up three runs, five hits and four walks. The 21-year-old left-hander lasted only 2 1/3 innings in an 11-2 loss at Washington on Aug. 28, and was optioned to Triple-A immediately following that game.
"It sounds cocky to say you expect to do well every time out, but at the same time, you have to have that confidence to think you can do well every time out," said Kershaw, the seventh overall pick in the 2006 draft.
"No one looks at you as a young guy when you're pitching. You're up here for a reason, and people expect you to get people out. There's no free pass, just because you might be a bit younger than some of the other guys. It's frustrating no matter what age you are."
Kershaw found himself in a bases-loaded, no-out jam after just 12 pitches, and the Padres were able to scratch out two runs without a ball leaving the infield.
The Dodgers got a run in the bottom half on Ethier's RBI single, but the Padres regained their two-run margin in the third with Chase Headley's RBI single.
The X-rays on San Diego C Nick Hundley's left wrist were negative. He was hit by a 93-mph fastball from Chad Billingsley on Tuesday and did not play in the finale of the two-game series. ... Gaudin's next start will be Friday night in the opener of a three-game interleague series with the Angels. ... Correia has won consecutive starts for the first time this season. He has allowed three runs or fewer in nine of his 12 outings.