Guerrero's pinch-hit single lifts Dodgers over Padres, 4-3
SAN DIEGO (AP) If this was Clayton Kershaw struggling, the San Diego Padres don't want any part of him when he's on.
After breezing through six innings, Kershaw was lifted in the seventh and Los Angeles squandered the lead before pinch-hitter Alex Guerrero singled home the tiebreaking run to lead the Dodgers to a 4-3 victory Friday night.
Kershaw subdued the Padres through six innings, but the game had two big shifts in the seventh and eighth.
Derek Norris hit a two-run homer in the seventh off winner Yimi Garcia to give the Padres a 3-2 lead. But the Dodgers bounced right back with two runs off relievers Dale Thayer (2-1) and Shawn Kelley.
''It was a lot of back and forth, a lot of big hits by us and them,'' Kershaw said. ''It was a good win for us.''
The Dodgers won their fourth straight game, though Kershaw didn't get the decision. The reigning NL MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner was effective even though he struggled with his fastball command.
''A win is definitely a win, but I would have liked Clayton to get the win,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''It seemed like it was a battle for him, command-wise with the fastball. But it shows you just what kind of a competitor he is that he continues to fight and battle the whole game.''
Kershaw had been dominant through six innings, allowing just three hits.
But then Clint Barmes hit a one-out homer in the seventh off Kershaw, who was lifted one out later for Garcia (3-2). Wil Myers hit a high popup in front of the mound and Justin Turner, playing first base, went to catch it but ran into Garcia and dropped the ball for an error.
On the next pitch, Norris hammered his seventh home run into the brick Western Metal Supply Co. building seats for the lead.
''Obviously, I can't give up that homer,'' Kershaw said. ''I might be able to finish the seventh and we might get out of there with a 2-0 win.''
Kershaw struck out 11 and walked three as he continued his recent dominant stretch.
The left-hander has allowed just three earned runs and 10 hits with 39 strikeouts in 28 2-3 innings over his last four starts. Kershaw leads the majors with 111 strikeouts.
''The game plan against Kershaw was to be aggressive,'' Barmes said. ''Guys were able to make him work a little bit more.''
Howie Kendrick, who led off with a double against Thayer and went to third on an error, scored on Turner's single to tie it 3-all. With two outs, Andre Ethier scored on Guerrero's single off Kelley.
Norris' homer capped a three-run inning that ruined Kershaw's bid to win his fourth straight start.
Kenley Jensen pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.
Adrian Gonzalez and A.J. Ellis each had an RBI single for the Dodgers.
Gonzalez grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the seventh and was ejected after he said something to plate umpire Doug Eddings as he ran back to the dugout.
NO JUNE SWOON
Kershaw had won nine consecutive June starts.
KERSHAW VS. DESPAIGNE
Since making his major league debut last season, San Diego starter Odrisamer Despaigne has opposed Kershaw three times and the Padres have lost all three. Kershaw was the winner twice.
Dodgers: Turner started at 3B after being sidelined for two games. He fouled a ball off his left knee on Monday. ... RHP Brandon Beachy is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. Beachy, who underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2013, has been on the 60-day disabled list all season. ... INF-OF Scott Van Slyke (back inflammation) is scheduled to play in a couple of rehab games next week.
Padres: LHP Corey Luebke is set to pitch Saturday in a game for the first time in more than three years. Luebke, who has had two Tommy John operations, is scheduled to start a minor league rehab assignment with Class A Lake Elsinore. Luebke has not pitched in the majors since winning a start against San Francisco in April 2012.
Dodgers: RHP Zack Greinke looks to continue his dominance against NL West foes since joining the club in 2013. Greinke is 22-2 with a 2.06 ERA while holding NL West hitters to a .214 batting average.
Padres: In two starts against the Dodgers this season, RHP Ian Kennedy is 0-2 with an 8.71 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs and 14 hits - including four homers - in 10 1-3 innings.