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Puig's encore: two homers in second game

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig's major league debut could not have gone much better Monday night in Los Angeles.

A pair of hits, a stunning throw from right field that ended the game on a double play, a deafening curtain call.

What could he do for an encore?

How about two curtain calls.

Puig smacked two line-drive home runs and had five RBIs in just his second career game, leading the Dodgers to a 9-7 victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles won for the second night in a row in the three-game series that concludes Wednesday.

"Last night was just kind of storybook -- he hits a couple singles, throws a guy out from the wall," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. "Tonight, it's like you're seeing the power. Tonight was a big impact."

Puig, who finished with three hits, hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and a two-run shot in the sixth. The much-hyped prospect now has five hits in his first eight at-bats after dominating Double-A pitching following a tremendous spring training in which he batted .517.

Puig's big Tuesday performance was enough to place him in exclusive company. He became the first Dodger with a multi-homer game within his first two games, and he's the first Dodger with five or more RBIs in his first two games since 1947.

"He's gifted, but there's an aggressiveness to the way he goes about playing baseball," Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly said. "Certainly the results are attractive, that's obvious. But I like the mind-frame. He's up there with the intent to do damage."

Los Angeles' strong offensive showing, which included a season-high three home runs, was enough for the Dodgers to overcome a shaky start from Lilly. The left-hander went just four-plus innings and allowed five runs (four earned) and six hits. Los Angeles needed five relievers to finish out the game, with J.P. Howell (2-0) picking up the win and Brandon League notching his 13th save.

"He just didn't get it," Mattingly said of Lilly. "It didn't seem like he was getting through the ball today. His neck seemed like he had something going on today. You never know with Ted, it's one outing to the next."

The Dodgers caught up to Padres starter Clayton Richard, tagging him for six runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. Reliever Tyson Ross (0-2) wasn't much better, allowing three runs in 2 1/3 innings.

"I think we have to mix in some more off-speed pitches," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Clayton was working a lot with his fastball and wasn't really hitting his spots."

Adrian Gonzalez and Tim Federowicz each had two hits for Los Angeles. Federowicz homered at Dodger Stadium for the first time in his career, his second homer of the season overall.

Carlos Quentin led the Padres with three hits, including a home run. Chris Denorfia, Everth Cabrera, Kyle Blanks and Jesus Guzman each had two hits for San Diego.

Puig brought the crowd to its feet for the second straight game after his three-run homer tied the game 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Los Angeles seized the 6-5 lead two batters later on a sacrifice fly from the just-activated Hanley Ramirez.

"It's been pretty amazing," Mattingly said of Puig. "Really it's just like spring training. The things he was doing in spring, like shooting the ball the other way."

Added Ramirez: "He has a lot of talent. He plays the game hard. He brings a lot of energy to us. He's got a lot of confidence. That's all you need to play at this level, a lot of confidence, and that's going to help him a lot."

A day after the Dodgers jumped on the Padres early with a pair of home runs, San Diego returned the favor.

Denorfia hit a solo home run in the first inning, and Kyle Blanks added a two-run homer in the second, scoring Yasmani Grandal to put the Padres up 3-0.

Federowicz trimmed the San Diego lead to one with a two-run home run in the second inning, but the Padres responded in the fourth inning with RBI singles by Guzman and Richard.

NOTES: The Dodgers activated Ramirez (hamstring) from the disabled list and placed LHP Chris Capuano (triceps) on the 15-day DL. ... Quentin sat out Monday with general soreness after hitting the outfield wall Sunday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, but he returned to play in his first game against the Dodgers since sending RHP Zack Greinke to the DL during an April brawl at the mound. ... Mattingly said that RHP Josh Beckett is battling a nerve injury that isn't expected to require surgery.

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