Aaron Harang set a Dodgers record with nine consecutive strikeouts, one short of the major league mark, and Los Angeles beat the San Diego Padres 9-8 Friday night on four straight walks in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer and Harang tied his career high with 13 strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings to help the Dodgers win their fourth in a row. They lead the majors with a 7-1 record, their best start since 1981 when they opened 9-1 and went on to win the World Series.
Chase Headley hit a tying, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth off Kenley Jansen (2-0), who walked Chris Denorfia to lead off the inning and struck out his next two batters before giving up Headley's shot to right field on a 2-1 pitch.
With two outs and nobody on in the bottom half, Andrew Casher walked three batters in a row. Joe Thatcher came in and walked Andre Ethier on four pitches to force in the winning run
Cashner (0-1) retired his first two batters before walking Mark Ellis, Kemp and James Loney.
The Padres scored eight runs despite striking out 18 times, tying the most by a Dodgers pitching staff for a nine-inning game. Still, Los Angeles blew an 8-3 lead.
Harang broke Johnny Podres' previous club mark by striking out nine consecutive batters after Cameron Maybin opened the game with a single on a night when the temperature dipped to 52 degrees after rain fell most of the day.
The streak ended when Will Venable homered leading off the fourth on a 3-1 pitch from against Harang. The right-hander, who pitched for the Padres last season, allowed four hits and four runs while walking four.
Podres had eight straight strikeouts against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 2, 1962.
Hall of Famer Tom Seaver set the major league record with 10 consecutive strikeouts for the New York Mets against the Padres on April 22, 1970. Seaver fanned the final 10 San Diego batters in that game.
Dodgers regular closer Javy Guerra had the night off after pitching three days in a row and earning five saves in a span of eight days.
Padres starter Clayton Richard allowed eight runs and six hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out four and walked four.
The Dodgers took a 4-0 lead in the third. Ellis' infield single to second base scored two runs with two outs. Ethier's RBI single scored Ellis and Kemp, who walked.
After zipping through the first three innings, Harang sat longer than usual in the unseasonable cold while the Dodgers batted around in the bottom of the inning. He promptly gave up the homer to Venable before walking Headley, who scored on Yonder Alonso's double that left the Padres trailing 4-3.
The Dodgers extended their lead to 8-3 in the fourth. A.J. Ellis had an RBI double and Tony Gwynn Jr. added an RBI single before Kemp hit a two-run shot to center field, his third homer of the season.
The Padres trailed 8-6 after scoring three runs in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Denorfia had an RBI double, reliever Scott Elbert walked pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman with the bases loaded and Headley added a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: The Dodgers are 4-1 against the Padres this season and have won 14 of their last 17 against their NL West rivals dating to last July 8. ... Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully missed his fourth consecutive game while recovering from a bad cold. The Dodgers said the 84-year-old Scully is improving and could return Saturday. ... The infield tarp was pulled on and off multiple times before the game started and neither team took batting practice. ... There have been 17 rainouts in Dodger Stadium's 50-year history, and none since April 2000, a span of 973 games, the longest streak in club history. The Padres have been rained out six times, the most of any visiting team.