Kemp and Ethier Return, but Mark Ellis Stars

Clayton Kershaw pitched in and out of trouble for six innings, Mark Ellis hit his third homer of the season, and the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated the return of Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp to the lineup with a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.

Kemp was 2 for 4 with a double after missing 51 of the Dodgers' previous 53 games because of a left hamstring strain. Ethier, sidelined since June 28 because of an oblique strain on his left side, was 0 for 2 and got hit by a pitch following a two-game rehab stint with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga during the All-Star break.

Kershaw (7-5) allowed a run, six hits and three walks while striking out six. Last year's NL Cy Young winner, who threw 27 pitches during his one-inning scoreless stint in Tuesday's All-Star game, worked with runners on base in every inning and stranded eight before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter after 110 pitches with the Dodgers trailing 1-0.

Tony Gwynn Jr. led off the sixth with a bunt single while batting for Kershaw, triggering the pivotal rally. Padres pitcher Clayton Richard knocked down a vicious line drive by Jerry Hairston Jr. and threw to second for the force on Gwynn. Ellis then drove a 1-2 pitch just inside the left field pole.

Javy Guerra and Ronald Belisario both pitched a scoreless inning and Kenley Jansen worked a hitless ninth for his 16th save in 19 attempts, helping the NL West-leading Dodgers send the Padres to their fourth straight loss following a season-high six-game winning streak.

Richard (6-10) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out two and walking none for the third time in four starts. The left-hander has allowed at least one homer in each of his last five outings.

Richard didn't get to pitch after the All-Star break last year because of a shoulder strain that led to season-ending surgery on July 29. But this season, he and Edinson Volquez are the only Padres pitchers who haven't missed a turn in the rotation. Seven other starters are currently on the disabled list - Tim Stauffer, Micah Owings, Cory Luebke, Andrew Cashner, Anthony Bass, Joe Wieland, and Eric Stults.

The Padres scratched out a run in the second after Yasmani Grandal led off with a bloop double to left-center that Kemp inadvertently kicked toward the infield after attempting to short-hop the ball. Grandal scored on a groundout by Everth Cabrera.

NOTES: The Dodgers are 24-12 this season when Kemp and Ethier are in the starting lineup, and 24-28 the rest of the time. They have homered in the same game twice, both against the Padres - a 6-1 win on April 14 and an 8-4 loss on April 8. ... Last season after the All-Star break, Kershaw was 12-1 with a 1.31 ERA in 14 starts. ... Richard's only nine-inning complete game in the majors was at Los Angeles on Sept. 21, 2010, when he scattered eight hits in a 6-0 victory to mathematically eliminate the Dodgers from playoff contention. ... Ethier is 3 for 25 lifetime against Richard. ... Padres CF Cameron Maybin made a diving backhanded catch in left-center to rob Ellis of extra bases leading off the fifth. ... Hairston became the fifth player the Dodgers have used in the leadoff spot, and he went 1 for 4. It was the first time he batted at the top of the order since July 28, 2011, for Washington. ... Two-time Olympic Gold Medal-winning volleyball player Misty May Treanor threw a ceremonial first pitch to her husband, Dodgers C Matt Treanor. But before she did, she shook him off twice and then motioned for a new set of signs. ... The Dodgers optioned OFs Elian Herrera and Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque to open up roster spots for Kemp and Ethier.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories