Mat Latos and Clayton Kershaw had quite a pitchers' duel tonight at Petco Park, but it was Latos who came out on top, leading the Padres to a 2-1 win, their second in as many nights against the Dodgers, to drop the Dodgers to below .500 for the first time since May 11.
Kershaw got his second 1-2-3 first inning of the season tonight, but then allowed single runs in the second and third innings. However, that was it. Kershaw went seven innings, allowing two runs and six baserunners while striking out six. Kershaw retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. His six strikeouts give him 197 on the season, two behind Tim Lincecum, who struck out 11 tonight, for the National League lead.
Latos was brilliant tonight, allowing one run in seven innings, throwing a career-high 113 pitches. He also had 10 strikeouts and no walks. The last pitcher to do that against the Dodgers was Barry Zito, on June 16, 2006. Latos set a major league record by pitching his 15th straight game allowing two or fewer runs (in five innings or more), per the Padres.
Reliever Mike Adams came in to pitch the eighth inning, and Jamey Carroll, pinch hitting for Rod Barajas, greeted him with a leadoff double. Fellow pinch hitter Jay Gibbons lined a ball to center field with was caught in a nice play by Chris Denorfia, who scored points on the Eric Byrnes Scale of Unnecessary Diving after the catch. Closer Heath Bell was summoned with one out in the eighth, and got out of the jam by striking out Scott Podsednik and James Loney, with a walk to Rafael Furcal mixed in between.
Bell was asked to get five outs for his 39th save, and get them he did, four by strikeout. It was an impressive performance by Bell, who has thrown 49 pitches in the first two nights of this series.
Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless inning in the eighth, striking out two batters. He had a rough couple of weeks in late August, walking at least one batter in six straight appearances, but he has struck out five of the seven batters he has faced in his last two outings. On the season, Jansen has 27 strikeouts in just 16 2/3 innings, an absurd rate of 14.58 strikeouts per nine innings.
Chad Billingsley pitches the finale tomorrow, as the Dodgers try to avoid a sweep against Cory Luebke, making his second career start for San Diego.
WP - Mat Latos (14-5): 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 10 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Kershaw (11-10): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Sv - Heath Bell (39): 1 2/3 IP, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts