Kershaw strikes out 10, Dodgers defeat Padres 4-0

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 22, 2013
Clayton Kershaw struck out 10 in seven dominant innings, Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis hit two-run homers and the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 4-0 Saturday night. Kershaw (15-9) lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.88. He leads the NL with 224 strikeouts. Kershaw held San Diego in check on three hits after losing to the Padres in three other starts this season. The left-hander is trying to become the first pitcher to lead the majors in ERA in three consecutive seasons since Atlanta's Greg Maddux from 1993-95. Ellis homered in the fourth off rookie Burch Smith (1-2). Puig then connected on a shot to center field off Tim Stauffer in the seventh that was estimated at 457 feet. Kershaw reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning. Kershaw retired 14 of his last 15 batters. He was 0-3 with a 4.67 ERA in his first three starts against the Padres, while going 14-6 with a 1.71 ERA in his other starts. Kershaw skipped his last scheduled start on Wednesday as the Dodgers attempt to give him rest heading into the postseason. Relievers Ronald Belisario and Brian Wilson each pitched a perfect inning for the Dodgers. Los Angeles played all of its starters, except shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers held out all of their regulars in a 2-0 loss to the Padres on Friday night, one day after clinching their first division title since 2009. Smith gave up two runs on three hits in six innings. The rookie struck out six and walked a career-high five. NOTES: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is resting Ramirez to help him recover from back and hamstring injuries that have plagued him throughout the season. Ramirez is expected to see limited playing time before the postseason. ... Dodgers OF Andre Ethier (sprained left ankle) missed his eighth straight game. Ethier, who took batting practice and did running drills before the game, could return when the Dodgers start a three-game series at San Francisco on Tuesday. ... Smith's third-inning single was his first major league hit. ... Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke (15-3, 2.75 ERA) will pitch at Petco Park for the first time since he sustained a broken left collarbone on April 11 during a brawl with Carlos Quentin, who was hit with a pitch and charged the mound. Quentin, who recently had knee surgery, is out of the season. ... RHP Andrew Cashner (10-8, 3.21) pitches for San Diego on Sunday.
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