It was a tough night for the Dodgers bullpen on Tuesday night.
The Padres rallied for three runs in the 11th inning against John Ely for a 6-3 win at Dodger Stadium, snapping the Dodgers' three-game winning streak. The loss dropped the Dodgers to 1½ games behind the Cardinals for the second wild card in the National League.
Logan Forsythe hit a two-run go-ahead single of Ely, making his first appearance of the season for the Dodgers. Ely, who last pitched on Aug. 28 for Triple A Albuquerque, was in his second inning of work.
The Dodgers got a magnificent performance from Clayton Kershaw, who was in line for his 13th win of the season as the club had its first two-run lead of the homestand in the eighth inning. But Matt Guerrier allowed a two-run home run to Yasmani Grandal in the eighth inning to tie the game, the second home run allowed by Guerrier in his three appearances since returning from the disabled list.
The first pitch thrown by Kershaw was hit over the fence by Chris Denorfia. But the Padres were unable to do much damage with any of the other 115 pitches thrown by Kershaw on the night. He allowed one run in seven innings, with nine strikeouts.
Kershaw now has 201 strikeouts on the season, becoming the fifth Dodger ever with three straight seasons of 200 or more punchouts.
"Obviously those guys are awesome pitchers and I have a ton of respect for all those guys. But at the same time strikeouts don't really mean too much to me. It's not something I try to do, it's not a big deal. Outs are outs," Kershaw said. "Two hundred innings is something I pride myself on. Going out there every fifth day and pitching deep into games, those are things you can control. Strikeouts, they're going to happen, but they're not my main concern."
Ethier continued his hot September with a solo home run in the second inning that tied the score at 1-1. It was the third home run in four September games for Ethier and his fifth home run in his last 12 contests. With the long ball, Ethier became the 16th Los Angeles Dodger to collect 1,000 hits.
The two sides took turns stranding a leadoff double in the sixth inning. Carlos Quentin doubled to start the top of the inning but was stranded at third. Adrian Gonzalez did the same to open the bottom of the inning, but with runners on the corners and nobody out Gonzalez was caught in a rundown after running on contact on a grounder to third base.
It was the second deflating out at or near third base on the night for the Dodgers, as Mark Ellis was picked off third base with one out in the first inning by catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Eric Stults made his 11th career start at Dodger Stadium, and his first as a visitor. He only struck out one but was able to last six innings, and allowed just one run in his no-decision. In his 11 career starts at Chavez Ravine, Stults has a 3.24 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 14 walks in 66 2/3 innings.
Ronald Belisario, pitching for the fifth time in seven days, pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
The Dodgers had what seemed like a prime opportunity in the 10th inning with the heart of their order coming up, but lefty Tommy Layne struck out Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, and Hanley Ramirez on 14 pitches, earning his first major league win.
Kemp is now 3-for-21 (.143) on the homestand, and manager Don Mattingly thinks his center fielder is still suffering from a bruised knee from running into the center field wall in Colorado.
"I don't think he's 100%, that's for sure. He's a little banged up, he missed a few days. His shoulder I think is something that probably has some effect on him. I think he's banged up," Mattingly said. "This game is tough enough to play when you're 100%. When you're banged up it changes some things."
Home Runs: Andre Ethier (17); Chris Denorfia (6), Yasmani Grandal (7)
WP - Tommy Layne (1-0): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts
LP - John Ely (0-1): 2 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 intentional walk, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Luke Gregerson (4): 1 IP, 1 walk