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San Diego at Los Angeles

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San Diego (60-76) «110000000250
L.A. Dodgers (80-56)000000000062

Padres 2, Dodgers 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers saw a much different Wade LeBlanc from the one they faced twice last September.

The San Diego Padres' rookie pitched two-hit ball over six innings in his return to Chavez Ravine, and his teammates scratched out a pair of early runs against the luckless Clayton Kershaw to beat the NL West leaders 2-0 on Friday.

A year ago, the Dodgers torched him for 12 earned runs over 6 2/3 innings in his two losses against them.

"Hopefully it gives me a lot of confidence, to know that I'm able to compete up here," LeBlanc said. "Obviously, I know that something like this isn't going to happen every start. So the best thing I can do is give this team a chance to win every time I go out there, and I want them to be able to depend on me."

LeBlanc (1-1) struck out two, walked three and retired his final nine batters in his fourth start of the season and eighth in the big leagues.

"He's made just eight major league starts, and the first few were rocky," manager Bud Black said. "So he knows the things he needs to work on and he's got to continue to refine his game."

The only hits off the 25-year-old left-hander were Ronnie Belliard's broken-bat single in the second inning and a third-inning single by Andre Ethier. LeBlanc lowered his ERA from 9.58 to 6.06 while matching the longest outing of his brief career.

"He had an excellent changeup, and he threw it at a couple of different speeds," Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake said. "He also had a little cutter that he must have picked up in the minor leagues, because I don't really remember seeing that thing before."

Jim Thome, acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox on Monday, made his Dodgers debut in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter for Blake and singled against Luke Gregerson. But the right-hander retired Belliard on a short flyball to center with runners on the corners and closer Heath Bell got James Loney to fly out, then pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 37 attempts this season.

The Dodgers' loss, combined with victories by Colorado and San Francisco, reduced their division lead to 4½ games over the Rockies and 5½ over the Giants with 26 games to play.

The Padres are 20 games behind the Dodgers. They have finished a season 20 or more games behind Los Angeles on 11 previous occasions, including last season.

"If you're referring to yourselves as a spoiler, that's a position you don't want to be in," Black said. "But we're going to play out this season hard, knowing that the integrity of the schedule means a lot to all of us in this game.

"It's important to me and to our players. Even though we're not headed toward the playoffs, the other team is playing with high intensity - and we're going to match that intensity. It's also important to play in these types of games against teams that are possibly headed to the playoffs, because it gives you the experience."

Kershaw (8-8) threw 106 pitches over six innings, allowing two runs -- one earned -- and four hits. But again, the 21-year-old left-hander was the victim of poor run support and remained winless in his last nine outings (0-2) since beating Houston 5-2 on July 18.

"We had some opportunities to score runs," Blake said after the Dodgers went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position. "It's always frustrating when your pitcher throws well and you can't score any runs for him. It hurts. He did his job tonight, but we've got to give him some run support. We're a team, so we feel like we let him down."

Kershaw, whose ERA during his victory drought is 2.75, leads the majors with a .202 opponents' batting average in his 28 starts. It was the 14th time in last 16 starts that he allowed fewer than two earned runs.

"I didn't pitch that great," Kershaw said. "I had to battle the first two innings, and that really took it out of me. But I knew I had to keep the team in the game and go as long as possible."

San Diego added an unearned run in the second after shortstop Rafael Furcal and first baseman Loney committed throwing errors on the same play.

Nick Hundley reached on a one-out single that caromed off Kershaw and dribbled to Furcal, who bounced his throw past first after charging the ball. Loney got the carom, but his throw to the plate eluded Ausmus and ended up in the box seats - just in front of Tommy Lasorda and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt as Oscar Salazar scored and Hundley continued to third.

Kershaw minimized the damage, retiring LeBlanc on a grounder to first with the infield in and Cabrera on a flyball. The hit by Hundley would be the last one Kershaw would allow before he was replaced by Ramon Troncoso.

Notes

Kemp, who came in batting .405 against left-handers, was 0 for 3 against LeBlanc. ... The Padres improved to 22-24 in games against left-handed starters, and will face another one Saturday night when Randy Wolf goes for his 100th big league victory.

 
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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Players of the Game
San Diego

W. LeBlanc
IP 6.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 3
K 2
San Diego

K. Kouzmanoff
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
San Diego Padres
Everth Cabrera, SS3000101 .263
David Eckstein, 2B3110100 .269
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4000013 .271
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4011000 .256
Chase Headley, LF4000021 .256
Oscar Salazar, RF2110110 .382
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
    Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
    Drew Macias, CF0000000 .195
Will Venable, CF-RF3010001 .276
Nick Hundley, C3010002 .222
Wade LeBlanc, P2000011 .250
    Tony Gwynn Jr., CF1000000 .265
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Totals2925135  
Batting
RBI - Kevin Kouzmanoff (79)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Kouzmanoff (36)
CS - Everth Cabrera (4, 3rd base by Kershaw/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Kouzmanoff-Eckstein-Gonzalez
PB - Nick Hundley (4)
San Diego Padres
Wade LeBlanc (W,1-1) 6200320 6.06
Joe Thatcher (H,3) 1100000 2.70
Luke Gregerson (H,21) 0.2200010 3.12
Heath Bell (S,34) 1.1100010 2.09
HBP - Ramirez (by Wade LeBlanc), Martin (by Joe Thatcher)
Pitches-Strikes - Wade LeBlanc 96-62, Joe Thatcher 18-13, Luke Gregerson 13-11, Heath Bell 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade LeBlanc 5-11, Joe Thatcher 2-1, Heath Bell 1-1
Batters Faced - Wade LeBlanc 24, Joe Thatcher 5, Luke Gregerson 4, Heath Bell 4
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5010010 .253
Andre Ethier, RF4010002 .283
Manny Ramirez, LF3000011 .302
Matt Kemp, CF4010002 .311
Casey Blake, 3B1000200 .273
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
   a- Jim Thome, PH1010000 .251
    Jason Repko, PR0000000 .000
    Scott Elbert, P0000000 .200
    Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
Ronnie Belliard, 2B3010102 .252
James Loney, 1B4000003 .273
Brad Ausmus, C2000024 .284
   b- Mark Loretta, PH-3B1000000 .227
   c- Juan Pierre, PH1010000 .323
Clayton Kershaw, P2000004 .109
    Ramon Troncoso, P0000000 .000
   d- Russell Martin, PH-C1000001 .256
Totals3206034  
a-singled for Kuo in the 8th
b-grounded out for Ausmus in the 7th
c-singled for Loretta in the 9th
d-hit by pitch for Troncoso in the 7th
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Matt Kemp 1
DP - Loney-Furcal, Kemp-Loney
E - Rafael Furcal (18, Throwing), James Loney (6, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw (L,8-8) 6421330 2.89
Ramon Troncoso 1100010 2.54
Hong-Chih Kuo 1000000 3.05
Scott Elbert 0.1000000 5.40
Ronald Belisario 0.2000010 2.11
WP - Clayton Kershaw (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 106-62, Ramon Troncoso 11-9, Hong-Chih Kuo 8-5, Scott Elbert 3-1, Ronald Belisario 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 7-6, Hong-Chih Kuo 3-0, Ronald Belisario 1-0
Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 23, Ramon Troncoso 3, Hong-Chih Kuo 3, Scott Elbert 1, Ronald Belisario 2
Game Information
Attendance - 52965
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Jim Joyce