Dave Rice 6:30 p.m., March 24
Padres complete sweep of Dodgers
The San Diego Padres took the third game of the series at the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete the sweep
Clayton Kershaw is tough, almost unhittable at times, and the Padres have had very limited success against him. Tyson Ross is a rough talented pitcher who is still learning to spot his pitches.
Wednesday evening at Chavez Ravine, the Padres squared off against Kershaw and the Dodgers in an attempt to sweep the three game series there. Ross was erratic but effective enough and helped by the fact that Kershaw couldn’t spot his curve ball, and the Padres beat the Dodgers 7-2 on Wednesday evening to sweep the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
Carl Crawford opened the Dodgers third with a single off of Chase Headley’s glove into left field and then stole second base. Mark Ellis came up and singled to center, Crawford holding at third base.
Andre Ethier popped out, and Adrian Gonzalez hit a fly ball foul to left that Jesus Guzman made a great play on to pull it out of the stands, but Crawford tagged and scored. In hindsight, Guzman might have been better off allowing that ball to go foul.
After three innings, the Dodgers took an early 1-0 lead. But the Padres had other ideas about how the game should go.
Everth Cabrera led off the Padres fourth inning by taking Clayton Kershaw deep into the Dodgers bull pen in left field, Everth’s second home run of the season. Chase Headley then drew a walk and Jesus Guzman singled with Chase taking third base.
Yonder Alonso drew a walk off of Kershaw and the bases were loaded for Jedd Gyorko. Gyorko hit a bullet but it was snared by Nick Punto who turned a double play, but Chase Headley scored on the play and Guzman took third base.
Kyle Blanks came up and belted a single to left field, plating Guzman. After three and a half innings, the Padres led the Dodgers 3-1.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Padres added another when Chris Denorfia took Kershaw deep and homered to left. The Padres took a 4-1 lead over the Dodgers into the bottom of the fifth inning.
With two out, Ross walked Andre Ethier and gave up a single to Adrian Gonzalez. Ross then gave up a walk to A.J. Ellis to load the bases and Brad Brach relieved Tyson Ross and got Skip Schumaker to ground back to the mound and the Padres got out of trouble.
In the Padres sixth with one out, Kyle Blanks came up and hit a monster shot off of the façade of the second deck in right field, the ball was crushed off of the bat. It was 5-1 Padres over the Dodgers, and with Kershaw gone and the Dodgers bullpen plenty taxed, that lead looked very good.
In the top of the seventh, the Padres continued when Everth Cabrera opened up with a double. One out later, Cabrera stole third and Mark Kotsay pinch hit and singled Cabrera home and the Padres led 6-1.
The Dodgers weren’t done. With Joe Thatcher on the mound, Mark Ellis singled and after Andre Ethier flied out on a brilliant play in left field by Kyle Blanks to snag the ball on the dive forward, Adrian Gonzalez singled and Ellis took second base.
Dale Thayer relieved Thatcher and gave up a very long single to A.J. Ellis, the runners having to hold because there was a question as to whether the ball would be caught on the warning track.
With the bases loaded, Thayer got out of the inning with a strike out and a fly ball to center. Into the eighth inning, the Padres held their 6-1 lead.
Will Venable hit an infield single and stole second, then made it to third base with one out when Cabrera singled. Chase Headley then singled to center field and drove Venable home, and the Padres increased their lead to 7-1 over the Dodgers.
Huston Street came in to close out the ninth in a non-save situation, walking Andre Ethier with one out. Adrian Gonzalez then singled to left, Ethier taking second base, and A.J. Ellis walked to load the bases.
Matt Kemp came up and hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ethier. And that was all for the Dodgers as Luis Cruz struck out, and the Padres completed their first series sweep of the season.
Tyson Ross had his first hit in the major leagues in the third inning, a smash off of the center field wall. He appeared to hurt his left shoulder on the swing, holding it carefully while pulling into first base, but he stayed in. His next at bat, he didn’t swing, but rather bunted to try and get on, probably by design to protect his non-throwing shoulder. We’ll keep an eye on the injury report tomorrow, but it appears that Tyson will be okay for now.
Thursday is an off-day for the Padres, who will travel to San Francisco and face the Giants on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Friday, Edinson Volquez (0-3, 11.68) will face Madison Bumgarner (3-0, 1.77); Saturday will see Clayton Richard (0-1, 5.28) against Tim Lincecum (1-0, 5.63); Sunday will feature Eric Stults (2-1, 3.94) battling Barry Zito (2-1, 4.86).