For a second straight night, a Dodgers August pitching acquisition allowed four runs in five innings, but this time the offense didn't bail Roberto Hernandez out.
One night after he opened the scoring with a three-run home run in the first inning, Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko started another rally in the second inning on Wednesday. His leadoff single was followed one out later by walks to Jake Goebbert and Rymer Liriano. All three scored on a pair of singles, with a little help from an error in left field by Scott Van Slyke.
"With Roberto it's about staying down in the zone, not a lot of tricks to it, trying to get ground balls," manager Don Mattingly said. "Tonight it seemed like he was behind in a lot of counts and just taking a lot of pitches to get through hitters.
The teams traded sacrifice flies in the third and fourth innings, but then things quieted down, especially for the Dodgers.
Kemp's sacrifice fly was the first of eight straight outs recorded by Eric Stults to end his night after five innings. Blaine Boyer followed with two scoreless innings, retiring six of the seven batters he faced.
A pair of runners reached base in the eighth inning, bringing Kemp to the plate representing the tying run, but he flew out to center field to end the frame.
With Padres closer Joaquin Benoit dealing with a "cranky" shoulder per Corey Brock of MLB.com, Kevin Quackenbush retired the Dodgers in the ninth inning for his first major league save.
Pedro Baez pitched scoreless baseball in the sixth and the seventh, and has yet to allow a run since his major league debut. In his last six appearances Baez has allowed only four hits in eight scoreless innings, but also only has two strikeouts during that span.
Justin Turner was 1-for-2 with a walk, his 24th consecutive start reaching base by hit or walk. During that span, which dates back to June 6, Turner is hitting .373 (38-for-102) overall with eight extra-base hits and 13 walks.
Dee Gordon, who didn't start but entered as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning, singled and stole second base in the eighth inning. His 57 steals this season pass Steve Sax (1983) for seventh-most by an LA Dodger in one season. Up next is current first base coach Davey Lopes, who stole 59 bases in 1974.
The Dodgers fell to 0-46 when trailing after seven innings.
The elbow discomfort for Zack Greinke shuffled the Dodgers starting rotation a bit, moving Clayton Kershaw up to start Thursday's series finale against the Padres. Tyson Ross starts for San Diego.
Home runs: none
WP - Eric Stults (6-13): 5 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
LP -(7-9): 5 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Kevin Quackenbush (1): 1 IP, 1 hit