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Scott Kazmir follows the formula as Dodgers beat Padres again

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Denis Poroy/Getty Images

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers stuck to their winning formula that has now worked on two straight victories over the Padres to start the season. On Tuesday night, they got another dominant starting pitching performance, this one by Scott Kazmir, and got hits when they needed it in a 3-0 win at Petco Park.

The Dodgers have beaten the Padres eight straight times, dating back to 2015.

Kazmir allowed only a first-inning single to Corey Spangenberg, and an infield single at that. The left-hander retired his final 17 batters faced after that to complete six scoreless innings, with five strikeouts.

"His fastball location was pretty good today," said catcher Austin Barnes. "He was using both sides of the plate."

This came after a spring in which Kazmir posted a 5.51 ERA while working things out.

"You just have to look at his track record. A lot was made of his spring, but he knew what it took to get ready for a major league season," manager Dave Roberts said. "Today, the fastball, the cutter, and he threw some great changeups. He really executed the scouting report."

Coupled with Clayton Kershaw's one hit allowed in seven innings on Monday, Kazmir gave the Dodgers the first duo of starting pitchers to open the season allowing one or no hit in the first two games of the season since the 1918 Reds.

Though only at 75 pitches, Kazmir was lifted for a pinch-hitter when his spot in the batting order came up in the seventh inning, despite cruising to that point and with a three-run lead. For what it's worth, opposing batters hit .280/.335/.452 against Kazmir his third time through the order in 2015, compared to .221/.289/.348 the first two times through.

On Tuesday night he faced 19 batters.

"I did want to stay in the game, but I understood the situation," Kazmir said.

The Dodgers got back-to-back shutouts to open a season for the first time since 1974, thanks to Pedro Baez, Chris Hatcher and Kenley Jansen recording the final nine outs to preserve the win.

"We have a great pen, and we're really confident in those guys, and they haven't pitched in a few days. You look at 75 pitches, that was lower on the pitch count for sure," Roberts said. "But it was the most times Kazmir was up and down throughout the spring and since last year. It just made sense to go to the pen right there, and those guys were lights out."

The trio of relievers retired nine of 10 batters they faced, with six strikeouts. The streak for Dodgers pitchers ran to 25 straight Padres retired before Jon Jay's infield single with two outs in the ninth. None of the three pitchers had pitched since Friday.

"There is something to be said for getting a certain amout of rest, but when you get too much you lose the sharpness," Roberts said.

Corey Seager paced the offense with three hits including a double, but it was his fourth-inning single that started what would be the winning rally.

After a near double by Justin Turner that was turned into a highlight-reel catch by the circuitous route of Matt Kemp in right field, Adrian Gonzalez twisted Jay around in center field for a double of his own to put runners on second and third.

Yasiel Puig followed with a ball hit hard and far enough that Jay didn't have a chance to misplay it, for Puig's second triple in as many nights, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead, then scored on a Carl Crawford single for the winning margin.

More on Puig's night a little later.

The Dodgers followed their formula so much that they even inserted Trayce Thompson in left field in the sixth inning for defense again, only this time the lead at the time was 3-0 instead of 8-0. But a win is a win, and not allowing any runs is a heck of a good way to pile them up.

Tuesday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Scott Kazmir (1-0): 6 IP, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts

LP - James Shields (0-1): 6 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts