Dodgers shut out Padres again

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- With another dominating pitching performance, the Los Angeles Dodgers captured the final rounds against the punchless San Diego Padres.

The Dodgers managed to score an unearned run in the seventh inning for a 1-0 victory Sunday over the Padres before 32,988 fans at Petco Park.

In the season finale between two clubs that opened the season with a bench-clearing brawl, the Dodgers (90-66), despite having already won the National League West title, showed more fight, winning the last two of the three-game series. The Dodgers won 11 of 19 overall from the Padres (72-83), and they muzzled San Diego's offense, shutting it out for the final 21 innings.

The Padres scored two runs (one unearned) in Friday's 2-0 win but were blanked Saturday by Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers' bullpen. They were shut out again Sunday by Zack Greinke, who suffered a broken collarbone in that April melee, and relievers J.P. Howell, Chris Withrow and closer Kenley Jansen.

"A lot of credit goes to our pitching staff," said Dodgers third baseman Michael Young, who went 1-for-3 with a double and was a catalyst in the decision. "They did a great job. Anytime they do really well, the defense always feeds off that. They threw a ton of strikes with a great tempo."

Young helped break up Sunday's scoreless contest by lining a double over the head of right-fielder Will Venable to bring home Adrian Gonzalez, who had singled with one out in the inning. Venable had trouble fielding the ball off the wall and was charged with an error, allowing the speed-challenged Gonzalez to round third and come home.

"I knew it would get over (Venable's) head right when I hit it," said Young, who is 15-for-39 since joining the Dodgers after being acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 31. "Right when I saw him bare-hand it and drop it, I immediately picked up the third-base coach (Tim Wallach). Obviously, that was a big run for us."

Greinke, who is 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts against San Diego this season, blanked the Padres for five innings before the bullpen took over. Greinke limited the Padres to two hits -- both singles -- with three strikeouts and a walk, throwing only 72 pitches (46 strikes) before manager Don Mattingly lifted him for Howell (4-1), who threw a perfect sixth inning.

Greinke said Mattingly told him before the game not to expect a heavy workload since the Dodgers are trying to keep their starters fresh for the postseason.

"Just a minor day," said Greinke, who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in his last 11 starts and is 7-0 with a 1.59 ERA during that stretch. "Trying to do as good as possible. That's the main thing, making sure all of the pitches are working and not getting any bad habits."

Withrow threw two scoreless innings before Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save.

San Diego starter Andrew Cashner pitched well, but had little to show for his effort. Cashner (10-9), who earned a complete-game shutout win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, allowed a run (unearned) on four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings. He threw 110 pitches (72 strikes).

"I made two mistakes. One was foul and the other one was to Young," Cashner said.

NOTES: Dodgers RHP Brian Wilson will make his first return to San Francisco in a Dodgers' uniform during a three-game series beginning Tuesday. Wilson will get an earful from the Giants' faithful, though Mattingly expects a mixed reaction. "I think it will be half and half," Mattingly said Sunday. "There will be a lot of people there that would appreciate what he was able to accomplish and what they were able to accomplish. And I think there will be a mix of traitor talk." ... Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup after missing the past two games to rest his ailing back and hamstring as the Dodgers prepare for the post-season. ... Dodgers OF Andre Ethier pinch-hit in the ninth inning and struck out. It was Ethier's first appearance in nine games after a suffering a sprained left ankle. ... Padres 3B Chase Headley wasn't in the starting lineup, but pinch-hit in the eighth inning, reaching on an error by Gonzalez. Logan Forsythe started in his place. ... The Padres host the Diamondbacks for a four-game series beginning Monday. It will be the final homestand for the Padres. Arizona RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-9, 4.57) will meet San Diego LHP Eric Stults (9-13, 4.02) in the opener.
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