Ross Stripling continued to thrive as a starter, and backed by a pair of home runs the Dodgers beat the Padres 4-1 in the opener of a weekend series on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Stripling, whose first 10 appearances this season were in relief, pitched into the seventh inning for the third time in 21 career starts. He scattered six hits and allowed only one unearned run.
He also struck out 10, setting a new career high for the third time in his last three starts. Those last three outings have featured 26 strikeouts and no walks in 18 innings, with a 1.50 ERA.
Stripling authored just the third streak by a Dodgers pitcher in the last 111 seasons with with seven or more strikeouts and no walks. The other two streaks were by Clayton Kershaw in 2015 and 2016.
The scoring came early for the Dodgers, who got walks by Chris Taylor and Justin Turner to start the first inning against Clayton Richard. a Matt Kemp followed with a three-run home run, a rarity this season for LA.
Kemp’s home run was the first three-run shot for the Dodgers since April 16, when Kemp hit a three-run homer and Yasmani Grandal a grand slam in the same game, also against the Padres.
After two more singles in addition to his home run, Kemp this season against the Padres is 15-for-26 (.577) with four of his six home runs and 12 RBI in seven games against San Diego.
Kiké Hernandez added a solo shot in the third for the Dodgers, who have won three straight and eight of their last nine games.
It’s another 7:10 p.m. PT start for these two teams on Saturday night, with Alex Wood starting for the Dodgers against Jordan Lyles for the Padres.
Home runs: Matt Kemp (6), Kiké Hernandez (7)
WP - Ross Stripling (2-1): 6⅔ IP, 6 hits, 1 unearned run, 10 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Richard (3-6): 6 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (11): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts