Alex Wood submitted a strong final audition for the Dodgers' third starter spot in the playoffs on Friday night, with seven strong innings in a 6-2 win over the Padres in the opener of the final weekend series of the regular season at Dodger Stadium.
The win improved the Dodgers to 53-26 (.671) at home, including 26-10 (.722) against the National League West.
Wood walked one and needed only 88 pitches to complete his seven innings, not giving up any runs until the seventh inning. Wood allowed five hits, struck out four, and got 13 ground ball outs.
The left-hander in five starts at Dodger Stadium this season owns a 2.41 ERA, to go along with 25 strikeouts and only five walks.
The Dodgers rallied for five runs in the third inning, putting together five consecutive RBI balls in play, helped a little by a miscommunication between second baseman Cory Spangenberg and shortstop Jedd Gyorko on a ground ball that led to a throwing error that helped lengthen the inning.
But it was by no means a gift inning, as the Dodgers had their way with Casey Kelly, who allowed six runs on eight hits while unable to get out of the fifth inning.
Howie Kendrick had two hits, including a double. A.J. Ellis also had two hits, which included a ball hit off the center field wall that saw him get thrown out at second base on a great throw by Melvin Upton, Jr.
Justin Turner drove in two, reached base twice and scored once in the win.
The Dodgers now have 90 wins for a third straight season, the first time that has happened since 1976-78.
The win puts the Dodgers (90-70) momentarily ahead of the Mets (89-70) for home field advantage in the National League Division Series. The Dodgers need three of five remaining outcomes to fall their way to clinch home field, but Hurricane Joaquin may wreak havoc with the timing of New York's three remaining games.
The Mets are already slated to play a doubleheader against the Nationals on Saturday, but bad weather is expected all weekend. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has more on the ramifications that may or may not stretch into Monday if home field isn't already decided.
The Dodgers turn to Zack Greinke for his final regular season start of the regular season on Saturday night, a 6:10 p.m. PT start. San Diego will counter with southpaw Robbie Erlin in the middle game of the series.
Home runs: none
WP - Alex Wood (12-12): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
LP - Casey Kelly (0-2): 4⅓ IP, 8 hits, 6 runs (3 earned), 2 walks, 3 strikeouts