Dodgers 6, Padres 4
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Three cities and nine games into their longest trip of the year, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally got a win.
Jayson Werth had a tying homer among his three hits, and Olmedo Saenz had three hits and scored three runs as the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 6-4 Wednesday night to snap their season-high eight-game losing streak.
“It’s a big win for us,” manager Jim Tracy said. “The effort was tremendous. The effort has been that way throughout the course of the entire road trip.”
But the offense hadn’t been, until Wednesday night. It was just the second time on the trip that the Dodgers scored more than three runs. The trip began with three-game sweeps at Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox, and continued with losses in the first two games of this four-game series.
“We’ve been scraping for a while now,” said Jeff Kent, who was ejected after being called out at third during the Dodgers’ two-run rally in the sixth that put them ahead 4-3.
“It’s been a tough road trip, where we’ve been swept in two series and then coming in here and getting beat twice now by a team that’s playing good baseball, the best in our division so far. It’s not something we want to have happen. We were able to score some runs today.”
Kent’s ejection seemed to spur the Dodgers. He was called out in a close play on pitcher Chris Hammond’s throw on a bunt by pinch-hitter Antonio Perez. Kent had to be restrained by manager Jim Tracy and third base coach Jim Lett as he argued with umpire Dan Iassogna. Kent pointed to his own eyes, and was tossed.
“He gave me a few minor league explanations, the reason why he made that call,” Kent said. “So I gave him the gesture that he needed to use his eyes, because he mentioned to me that he heard the play and he anticipated the play, which I thought were very odd being a major league umpire.
“But I guess my pointing to the eyes suggested a minor league gesture, and that’s why he threw me out of the game.”
Yhency Brazoban pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances. It came one day after the Dodgers announced All-Star closer Eric Gagne will have season-ending surgery on Friday to fix a sprained ligament in his right elbow. Gagne pitched in just 14 games this season, going 1-0 with eight saves.
NL West-leading San Diego had its four-game winning streak snapped, and lost for the 13th time in 20 games this month.
Antonio Perez singled in Saenz to make it 5-3 in the eighth. The Padres twice loaded the bases in their half of the eighth but got just one run, on Khalil Greene’s groundout. Werth had an RBI ground-rule double in the ninth.
Werth tied the game at 3 when he hit his first homer of the season, to left-center on a 1-1 pitch from rookie Tim Stauffer leading off the sixth.
After Kent made the first out of the inning, Jason Phillips walked to load the bases. Saenz scored the go-ahead run when Jason Grabowski’s grounder bounced off second baseman Damian Jackson’s glove and leg and rolled to second, where Greene picked it up and forced Phillips.
Rookie D.J. Houlton (3-1) went five innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He struck out five and walked two.
Stauffer (1-3) hasn’t won in seven starts since getting a victory in his big league debut on May 11 at Cincinnati. Chased with one on and no outs in the sixth, he allowed four runs on six hits, struck out three and walked one.
Houlton also got his first two major league hits. He beat out an infield single to third in the second, then singled to right-center in the fifth.
The Padres stranded 10.
“We did a good job of getting men on, but we just didn’t get that big hit,” Brian Giles said. “You’re not always going to get that big hit.”
Dave Roberts hit a leadoff homer for the Padres, the first of three extra-base hits Houlton allowed before getting his first out.
Roberts hit Houlton’s second pitch into the porch down the right-field line, his fifth. Robert Fick doubled to right and scored on Ryan Klesko’s double into the left-field corner, and Giles singled before Houlton retired the side.
With his first-inning single, Giles broke his own club record by reaching base in 12 straight plate appearances. He extended his record by hitting an RBI triple in the third for a 3-2 lead, before flying out to left in the fifth.
Phillips hit a two-run single for the Dodgers to tie it at 2 with one out in the second. Kent and Saenz were aboard on consecutive singles.
Perez extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a season-high for a Dodger. … Giles was the first big leaguer to reach base 13 straight times since Barry Bonds Sept. 11-14, 2002. … San Diego’s Paul McAnulty, recalled earlier Wednesday from Double-A Mobile, made his big league debut as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, lining to second with the bases loaded for the second out.