LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp is a two-time Gold Glove center fielder, so he can appreciate watching another player make a home run-saving catch. He just wished that Cameron Maybin didn't do it against him -- especially with every game down the stretch vital to the Los Angeles Dodgers' postseason hopes.
Maybin robbed Kemp of a possible go-ahead home run in the seventh inning after Carlos Quentin put San Diego ahead with a sacrifice fly, and the Padres beat the Dodgers 4-3 on Wednesday night to take two of three games in the series.
"He's a good center fielder, man. He got a good jump on the ball and made a great play," Kemp said. "I think we all get frustrated when we lose games, but you can't dwell on the past. We've got to turn the page because we've got a big series coming up. And every series is a must-win, so we've got to go out there and play every game like it's our last one because you never know what can happen."
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The loss kept the Dodgers 4½ games behind the first-place Giants in the NL West, with a pivotal three-game set between the storied rivals starting Friday night in San Francisco. Los Angeles remained 1½ games behind St. Louis for the second wild card.
Nick Vincent (2-0) retired all four batters he faced after relieving starter Clayton Richard with two outs in the fifth. Fellow rookie Brad Boxberger struck out Shane Victorino and walked Adrian Gonzalez to open the seventh, and Kemp followed with a long drive to center. Maybin timed his leap perfectly before pulling it down.
"When you get a chance to play in these parks, you get a chance to get acclimated to the dimensions and you start to get a gut feeling of where you are. So I had a really good feeling of where I was at," Maybin said.
"It was a great read off the bat, and I did a good job of getting to a spot to get an opportunity to make a much easier play as opposed to a tougher one. I honestly didn't think it was going to go out when it came off the bat, but fortunately I was blessed with long arms and a little bit of jumping ability."
Rookie left-hander Tommy Layne, the seventh Padres pitcher, got the more conventional save by retiring Gonzalez on a one-hopper to second base after Luke Gregerson hit Victorino on the foot with an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth. It was Layne's second save in two opportunities with All-Star closer Huston Street on the disabled list because of a strained left calf.
Layne is one of six current members of the Padres' bullpen who have made their major league debuts this season, along with Vincent, Boxberger, Cory Burns, Casey Kelly and Miles Mikolas. Brad Brach and Dale Thayer also have rookie status, despite having pitched in the majors last season.
"Out of 10 guys in the 'pen, we've got eight rookies," manager Bud Black said. "The only guys with service time are Gregerson and Joe Thatcher. So the last three months, there's been a little bit of a shuttle going back and forth between San Diego and Tucson. Tonight we saw Layne, Vincent and Boxberger do a good job. We've seen these guys grow before our eyes, and they're part of our future."
Dodgers reliever Shawn Tolleson (1-1), who allowed seven runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings over his previous four appearances, struck out the side on 15 pitches in the sixth after replacing starter Aaron Harang. But the rookie right-hander gave up a leadoff walk in the seventh to Will Venable, who stole second and scored on Quentin's sacrifice fly after being held at third on Chase Headley's single.
Richard had a 3-0 lead before he threw his first pitch. Everth Cabrera scored on Headley's double off the center-field fence, and Venable followed him home as the relay throw from shortstop Hanley Ramirez skipped past catcher A.J. Ellis for an error. Yasmani Grandal drove in Headley with an infield single to the right side.
Richard gave up singles to his first three batters in the second, including a run-scoring hit by Luis Cruz. The left-hander also yielded singles to his first three batters in the third, including a run-scoring hit by Gonzalez that trimmed San Diego's lead to 3-2.
Richard was charged with three runs and 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings in his fifth start against the Dodgers this season.
"They got 10 singles off him and had some guys on base, but Clayton did make some pitches to get out of some jams and he battled," Black said. "That's one of those agonizing decisions for a manager, to take one of your lead horses out in the middle of a game. But in a September situation, with a full bullpen, it was just one of those gut calls to take him out."
Victorino went to third on Gonzalez's hit, then got caught in a rundown on Kemp's grounder to first. Moments later, Richard wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam.
Harang gave up three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in five innings. It was the seventh straight outing in which the right-hander failed to get through the seventh.
Victorino saved two runs with a running grab in the fifth, then led off the bottom half with an infield hit. He scored from third on Ramirez's single to make it 3-all.
Headley needs six RBI to join Ken Caminiti and Phil Nevin as the only Padres third basemen to drive in 100 runs in a season. ... The Padres and OF Chris Denorfia agreed to a $4.25 million, two-year contract that runs through the 2014 season. ... Dodgers LHP Chris Capuano, whose next scheduled start is Saturday at San Francisco, has faced 85 batters over his last three outings while going 21 innings without a walk. ... Kemp, still feeling the effects of a sore shoulder from running into the fence on consecutive days at Coors Field last week, was 3 for 25 during the seven-game homestand.