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Billingsley, Dodgers Take Care of Business

Tonight's game had its nervous moments, but in the end the Dodgers came through and pulled out a 5-2 win at Petco Park against the Padres.  The Dodgers managed just two runs of Walter Silva, a journeyman from the Mexican Winter Leagues making his Major League Debut, but also worked four walks, helping to force him out of the game after five innings.

Chad Billingsley cruised after a shaky, 29-pitch (yet scoreless) first inning, until he nearly came apart in the fifth.  To start the inning, Billingsley walked the light-hitting trio of Henry Blanco, Everth Cabrera, and Luis Rodriguez consecutively, leading to two runs scoring to tie the game.  Billingsley was able to regroup and pitched a very efficient sixth inning, making him the first Dodger starter to pitch six innings this season.

The Dodgers rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh, including an opposite field double for Manny Ramirez that brought home two runs.  The leading bullpen trio of Cory Wade, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Jonathan Broxton were lights out again, preserving the win for Billingsley.  So far this season, the bullpen has pitched nine innings, allowing only two hits and three walks while striking out eight.

James Loney had two more hits, yet his average lowered to "only" .500.

Clayton Kershaw starts against Kevin Correia in an afternoon start Thursday, in a game that will feature the major league debut at shortstop of Blake DeWitt.

Tonight's Box Score