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Kent helps Dodgers edge first-place Padres

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are glad to be back home and finished with American League teams. Now they can concentrate on catching the San Diego Padres in the NL West.

Jeff Kent was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI, J.D. Drew and Mike Edwards hit run-scoring doubles and the Dodgers beat San Diego 5-4 Monday night, helping trim the Padres' division lead to three games over idle Arizona and 5½ over Los Angeles.

"These are games I like to play. In your division. None of this interleague (stuff). Playing a good team like the Padres," Kent said. "It was a long trip. We didn't play as well as we could and we had some bad breaks."

Rookie right-hander D.J. Houlton (4-1) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and five hits with five strikeouts in seven innings, helping the Dodgers recover quickly from a 2-11 road trip that included three-game sweeps by the White Sox, Royals and Angels. Both wins came at San Diego in come-from-behind fashion, after the Padres took the first two games 1-0 and 2-1 behind Jake Peavy and Woody Williams.

"We consider this a big series, especially after what happened to us in San Diego when we let them come back against us there," Padres catcher Robert Fick said. "We've had our ups and downs, but we've just got to stay together and we're not going to point any fingers around here."

Houlton, 25, is the only Los Angeles starter with a winning record -- on a staff that includes Derek Lowe, Brad Penny and Jeff Weaver.

"I'm just happy to be pitching here," said Houlton, who improved to 3-0 at Dodger Stadium. "This was a great opportunity, and I just wanted to get after it and show them I could start up here. It's been working out pretty good and it's given me a lot of confidence."

Kelly Wunsch pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Yhency Brazoban got the last three outs for his 14th save in 17 attempts.

Xavier Nady homered for the fourth consecutive game and Damian Jackson hit his third in two days for San Diego. Tim Stauffer (1-4) squandered an early 4-0 lead and remained winless in eight starts since beating Cincinnati in his major-league debut on May 11.

Stauffer allowed five runs, nine hits and three walks in six innings after losing a 6-4 decision to Houlton last Wednesday at San Diego. Stauffer also got his first career RBI with a double in the second inning, but the Padres got only one more hit against Houlton.

"He really settled down," Fick said. "For somebody who was almost coming out of the game -- and he was real close to coming out -- he figured it out. Being a young pitcher and being able to do something like that out there is really impressive."

The Dodgers pulled ahead 5-4 with two runs in the fifth inning. Drew, who missed the previous five games with a sore left knee, doubled home the tying run and Kent put Los Angeles ahead to stay with an RBI single after Drew advanced on Fick's passed ball.

Edwards started the Dodgers' comeback with an RBI double in the second, and Kent drove in two more in the third with his 15th homer. Kent has 111 RBI against San Diego, his highest total against any club, and his 30 home runs against the Padres match Colorado for his best against any team.

The game got off to a controversial start when Jackson -- batting leadoff in place of the injured Dave Roberts -- drove a 3-2 pitch toward the left field pole. The ball was touched by a fan sitting in foul territory who reached in front of the pole.

Third base umpire Chuck Meriwether initially awarded Jackson second base on the interference, drawing both managers out to argue. The Dodgers' Jim Tracy wanted it ruled a foul ball, and San Diego's Bruce Bochy protested that it should be a home run. After the umpires huddled up, Jackson was awarded his fourth career leadoff homer.

It was also the fourth home run for Jackson, who hit two in Sunday's 5-4 victory against Seattle for his first career multihomer game.

There was no doubt about Nady's ninth homer, which came on an 0-2 pitch with two out in the second and started a three-run inning. Khalil Greene and Stauffer followed with doubles, giving the Padres a 3-0 lead for the fifth consecutive game. Stauffer scored when third baseman Antonio Perez misplayed Jackson's line drive for an error.

"We're getting leads and not doing a very good job of holding them - or adding onto them," Bochy said.

Notes

  • Nady's four-game home run streak is two shy of longest in Padres history, set by Graig Nettles in 1984.
  • Kent, who grounded out against Chris Hammond in the seventh, is 1-for-20 lifetime against the left-hander.
  • Jerry Reuss threw out a ceremonial first pitch on the 25th anniversary of his no-hitter for the Dodgers at San Francisco.
  • Kent's 293 home runs as a second baseman are more than anyone who's ever played the position in the big leagues.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Jeff Kent's busy night on the bases almost leads to a collision with San Diego shortstop Khalil Greene.   (AP)
Jeff Kent's busy night on the bases almost leads to a collision with San Diego shortstop Khalil Greene. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

J. Kent
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Los Angeles

J. Drew
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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San Diego Padres
Damian Jackson, 2B5111001 .261
Mark Sweeney, 1B3000110 .275
Brian Giles, RF4000002 .275
Ryan Klesko, LF3000100 .278
Robert Fick, C4000021 .315
Sean Burroughs, 3B4010001 .268
Xavier Nady, CF4111012 .270
Khalil Greene, SS4120001 .254
Tim Stauffer, P2111010 .200
   a- Paul McAnulty, PH1000010 .167
    Chris Hammond, P0000000 .000
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
   b- Geoff Blum, PH1000001 .239
Totals35463269 
a-struck out for Stauffer in the 7th
b-popped out for Linebrink in the 9th
Batting
2B - Khalil Greene (16, Houlton), Tim Stauffer (1, Houlton)
HR - Damian Jackson (4, Houlton), Xavier Nady (9, Houlton)
RBI - Damian Jackson (13), Xavier Nady (26), Tim Stauffer (1)
2-OUT RBI - Xavier Nady (12), Tim Stauffer (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Jackson-Greene-Sweeney, Jackson-Greene-Sweeney
PB - Robert Fick (2)
San Diego Padres
Tim Stauffer (L,1-4) 6955341 4.78
Chris Hammond 1000100 1.64
Scott Linebrink 1100020 2.34
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Stauffer 90-54, Chris Hammond 15-8, Scott Linebrink 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Stauffer 9-2, Chris Hammond 3-0
Batters Faced - Tim Stauffer 27, Chris Hammond 4, Scott Linebrink 4
Los Angeles Dodgers
Cesar Izturis, SS4000012 .279
Antonio Perez, 3B4110000 .336
    Oscar Robles, 3B0000000 .237
J.D. Drew, CF2221200 .278
Jeff Kent, 2B4133001 .297
Jayson Werth, RF-LF3000123 .246
Hee Seop Choi, 1B4120001 .237
Jason Phillips, C4010002 .247
Mike Edwards, LF3011001 .319
    Jason Repko, RF1000011 .185
Dennis Houlton, P2000121 .250
    Kelly Wunsch, P0000000 .000
    Yhency Brazoban, P0000000 .000
Totals3151054612 
Batting
2B - J.D. Drew (12, Stauffer), Jason Phillips (14, Stauffer), Mike Edwards (4, Stauffer)
HR - Jeff Kent (15, Stauffer)
RBI - J.D. Drew (32), Jeff Kent 3 (58), Mike Edwards (6)
CS - Jayson Werth (2, 2nd base by Stauffer/Fick)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Cesar Izturis (8, Misplayed grounder), Antonio Perez (5, Wild throw)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dennis Houlton (W,4-1) 7543152 5.44
Kelly Wunsch (H,14) 1000110 4.43
Yhency Brazoban (S,14) 1100000 4.22
Pitches-Strikes - Dennis Houlton 108-73, Kelly Wunsch 17-8, Yhency Brazoban 14-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dennis Houlton 1-15, Kelly Wunsch 1-1, Yhency Brazoban 2-1
Batters Faced - Dennis Houlton 29, Kelly Wunsch 4, Yhency Brazoban 4
Game Information
Attendance - 47588
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Adam Dowdy, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether