Dodgers defeat Padres, finish 23-6 in August

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Mark Ellis singled with one out in the eighth inning, scoring Skip Schumaker from third and providing the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.
The victory ended a night of frustration for the Dodgers, who didn't have trouble getting runners on base, but were unable to get them home.
The Dodgers tied the score in the seventh inning before going ahead in the eighth.
Schumaker led off the eighth inning with a double down the left field line. He was sacrificed to third by Tim Federowicz, who had been 1-for-3 to that point with two strikeouts. Ellis stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter and helped deliver the Dodgers' 23th victory in 29 August games.
"We've stayed healthy and our bullpen has done very well," Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. "You can't win without pitching. Days like today, we won with our pitching and defense."
The victory overshadowed a gutsy performance by Padres starting pitcher Andrew Cashner.
Cashner spent the first six innings working his way out of trouble. The Dodgers got runners on base in the first six innings against the right-hander but were unable to score.
Cashner found himself walking the proverbial tightrope in the sixth inning when the Dodgers had runners at first and third with one out. He got Schumaker to hit a soft liner to shortstop Ronny Cedeno for the second out before striking out Federowicz.
Cashner found himself in another jam in the seventh inning after pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston and Carl Crawford singled. Padres manager Bud Black visited the mound to discuss strategy but never thought about pulling Cashner.
"I thought Cashner threw the ball great all night," Black said. "It was his game to win or lose. I still thought he had a lot of bullets left.
"I think that was a learning point for Cash. Tough game on the road, good team, crowd, the whole everything. I don't know if Cash has been in that situation before."
Cashner struck out Yasiel Puig and was hoping to get Gonzalez to hit into an inning-ending double play. Gonzalez wasn't in a cooperative mood. One night after hitting two home runs and driving in four against his former team, Gonzalez lined a single to center field, scoring Hairston.
"That was one of the better pitches I made," Cashner said of the pitch that Gonzalez hit. "It was a sinker down and away. I don't know how he lifted that ball. He's a great hitter but that was the pitch I wanted to make."
After the game, Gonzalez revealed his secret.
"I looked for sinkers down and away," he said. "Cashner is a great pitcher and he made some good quality pitches when he needed to.
The Padres weren't able to do much against Dodger starter Chris Capuano despite getting runners on base in the first three innings. Cedeno broke the spell with a solo home run in the fourth inning.
"Cappy was great," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It was the first time in a while he's been over 100 (pitches). He got some big outs.
"We just hung in there with their guy (Cashner)."
Cedeno's home run, his first since joining the Padres on Aug. 6, came in the fourth inning off of Capuano. The Padres came within inches of adding to their lead when Cashner hit a two-out single to right field with Rene Rivera at second base, but Rivera was thrown out at home by Puig to end the inning.
"They've got to make a play," Black said of the decision to send Rivera. "He (Puig) had to go a little bit to his left, not quite a tricky hop but he has to make the play. Federowicz made a nice tag but you've got to take your chances there. You can't guarantee another hit with two outs."
NOTES: San Diego INF Yonder Alonso will have his right hand examined when the Padres return home on Monday. Alonso hurt his hand on a check swing during Friday night's loss to the Dodgers. ... Padres 3B Chase Headly missed his third consecutive game Saturday. He has been bothered by a stiff back. ... Dodgers OF Matt Kemp continued his rehab assignment as the designated hitter for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Saturday. He has been on the disabled list since July 22 with a sprained left ankle. ... Dodger pitcher Paco Rodriguez took a streak of 10 1/3 scoreless innings into Saturday's game against the Padres.

What to Read Next