Seth Smith was quite a wrecking crew on his own for the Padres on Friday night, but Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen didn't have to face him in the ninth. Smith was in the on-deck circle watching Everth Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Will Venable for the winning run to cap a three-run ninth inning by the Padres in a stunning 6-5 win over the Dodgers.
For the fifth time this season, the Dodgers had a three-game winning streak denied a fourth straight victory.
Jansen started the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead, but after a leadoff single by Alexi Amarista and a double by pinch hitter Carlos Quentin, San Diego cut the lead in half and had a rally going with nobody out. Venable then doubled home Quentin to tie the score, giving Jansen his first blown save since April 15.
"We always feel like he's going to get out of it," manager Don Mattingly said. "They just kept hitting, really."
A sacrifice bunt got Venable to third, setting the stage for Cabrera's game-winning fly ball.
"I felt good. I thought I was making good pitches," Jansen said. "It just didn't go my way."
The throw home from right field on the game's final play came from Scott Van Slyke, who entered the game an inning earlier for Yasiel Puig, who exited with a mild left hip muscle strain, an injury that caused him to miss a game and a half earlier in June in Colorado.
Puig is day-to-day.
Dee Gordon opened the game with a shot to the right center field gap, good for his eighth triple of the season to tie Alex Rios of the Rangers for the major league lead. When the relay throw to third from second baseman Jace Peterson got away, Gordon scampered home for a quick 1-0 lead.
A double by Adrian Gonzalez and a single by Matt Kemp widened the lead to 2-0 and extended Kemp's hitting streak to eight games, during which he is 14-for-31 (.452).
The Dodgers put up another crooked number in the fifth inning. With runners on second and third and one out against a drawn-in infield, Puig singled off the glove of a diving Everth Cabrera at shortstop, just out of the reach of a diving Amarista at third. As the ball squirted toward the third base line Hanley Ramirez alertly kept running and scored easily. The throw home was wild, allowing Puig to get all the way to third base, and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez for a three-run inning and a 5-1 lead.
Dan Haren was more or less Dan Haren, in that he pitched into the sixth and was in the neighborhood of the minimum standard for a quality start. He gave up a pair of home runs to Smith, one in the first and one in the sixth, making it 12 home runs allowed in Haren's last eight starts.
"The first pitch was a fastball, I was trying to challenge him. The second pitch was a mistake," Haren said. "With all due respect, it's Seth Smith. It's not Babe Ruth, but he was pretty much Babe Ruth tonight."
Smith, who also doubled to the center field wall in the eighth against Brian Wilson, has owned the Dodgers this season, going 6-for-10 (.600) with four solo home runs, a double, two walks and a catcher's interference in four games.
The other run against Haren came in the fifth inning on an RBI single by pinch hitter Jake Goebbert, in his first major league plate appearance. Haren failed to last six innings for just the third time in 15 starts this year.
"My stuff was good today. I really should have gotten more outs than I did. I left a lot of outs out there from the bullpen," Haren said. "I felt great, I really did. It was the best I felt the last few times out."
Haren left up two runs with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first base. J.P. Howell relieved him and, after a walk to Amarista, struck out Peterson to end the threat. Howell has stranded 20 of 22 inherited runners this season, including all five runners inherited from Haren.
The positive takeaway for Haren on Friday was that he struck out five batters after four straight starts of only two strikeouts each.
"I was able to move the ball in and out a little bit better than I had in the past," Haren said. "I'm going to strike more guys out than I have been. I think it was just a little funk I've been through."
Van Slyke was ruled out on a double play in the ninth inning but upon replay he was never tagged by the second baseman Peterson. The call was overturned, the 12th successful Dodgers challenge in 18 tries this year.
Smith is one of two players with at least 10 total bases in a game against the Dodgers, joining Paul Goldschmidt (12 total bases on May 17).
Josh Beckett gets the start on Saturday night for the Dodgers in the middle game of the series, facing Tyson Ross for San Diego, at 7:10 p.m. PT start.
Home runs: Seth Smith 2 (8)
WP - Dale Thayer (3-2): 1 IP, 2 hits
LP - Kenley Jansen (0-3): ⅔ IP, 3 hits, 3 runs