The flavor of June, Yasiel Puig, dazzled in his debut with a pair of hits, but it was the two offensive heroes of May who continued their production into a new month to lift the Dodgers over the Padres 2-1 in the opener of a 10-game homestand Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
Puig ended the game by catching a Kyle Blanks drive at the right field wall, then threw on the fly to first base to retire Chris Denorfia for the final end of the game.
Fife allowed just three singles through five scoreless frames, but with one out in the sixth inning Alexi Amarista challenged Puig twice and prevailed. Amarista hit one into the right field corner that Puig got to in a hurry and unleashed a strong throw to second base that made it closer than it probably should have been. Then Chase Headley dumped a single into right field and Amarista beat a strong throw to the plate from Puig to cut the Dodgers' lead in half at 2-1.
Fife was removed after the RBI single, but with five strikeouts and just one run allowed, in his first start since getting activated from the disabled list, that was about as much as the Dodgers could have hoped for from a spot start. It was Fife's first major league victory.
Puig singled in the first inning, a soft liner to center field, the first since Van Slyke last May to get a hit in his first major league at-bat.
In the third inning Puig hit a routine grounder to third that he nearly beat out.
Puig in the sixth hit a high bounding ball off the glove of Kyle Blanks at first base that was probably generously scored a base hit. Puig turned on the jets heading from first to third base on a Nick Punto single, but was stranded at third by a 3-6-1 double play hit into by Gonzalez.
Puig grounded into a fielders choice in the eighth inning.
Kenley Jansen allowed Everth Cabrera to single and steal second in the eighth innings, but Jansen struck out Amarista and got Headley to fly out to end the threat to preserve the one-run lead. Batters this season against Jansen are 0-for-27 with runners in scoring position, with 12 strikeouts, one walk, and one hit by pitch.
Brandon League retired the Padres in the ninth inning for his 12th save of the season, with an assist from Puig.
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez (8), Scott Van Slyke (5)
WP - Stephen Fife (1-0): 5⅓ IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Eric Stults (4-5): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Brandon League (12): 1 IP, 1 walk