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Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw notches 8th straight victory against San Diego Padres

By Bill Center, The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw notches 8th straight victory against San Diego Padres
Clayton Kershaw continued his dominance of the Padres with 7 1/3 strong innings on Saturday, Photo courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers via Twitter.

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers already had one Padre killer in Clayton Kershaw.

Now it seems they have developed a second in first baseman Cody Bellinger.

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Kershaw allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings Saturday night to win his eighth straight decision against the Padres while Bellinger hit his third homer -- a grand slam -- in two nights against San Diego to lead the Dodgers to a 10-2 victory at Petco Park.

The win was the Dodgers second straight and their seventh in the last nine games. The Padres have lost four in a row and 10 of their last 14.

"Clayton threw a heck of a ballgame tonight," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "And Cody, he's just got such a good feel ... on the bases, playing defense and at the plate."

Kershaw allowed five hits -- including a solo home run by Padres pinch-hitter Ryan Schimpf in the eighth to end the shutout bid -- and issued a season-high four walks against nine strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

Kershaw (5-2), who lowered his ERA from 2.61 to 2.40, is 8-0 in his last 10 starts against the Padres and 16-6 lifetime against the Padres with a 2.00 ERA in 31 starts.

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"It was a good game, Kershaw said. "It was good to get on top early. I wanted to get through the eighth, but didn't get the job done."

Bellinger capped a five-run ninth against Padres reliever Miguel Diaz with a grand slam -- the first of his career and his third home run in two games against the Padres. Bellinger, who had five RBIs on Saturday after getting four Friday, took over at first for the Dodgers when Adrian Gonzalez went on the disabled list Friday for the first time in his career.

Earlier in the game, he drove in the Dodgers' first run by beating the Padres shift with a single through the left side of the infield. His grand slam came on a neck-high fastball.

"That was amazing," Kershaw said of Bellinger. "I haven't seen too many people put a barrel on that let alone hit a home run."

The game opened with an unusual twist. The first names on both batteries Saturday night were Clayton and Austin. Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw and Austin Barnes; Padres: Clayton Richard and Austin Hedges.

The Clayton/Clayton matchup was scoreless until the fourth.

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Richard (4-3) battled Kershaw to a draw before the Dodgers scored three in the fourth and two in the fifth when the Padres left-hander lost command of the strike zone.

In the third, singles by Justin Turner and Bellinger around a walk to Franklin Gutierrez produced the game's first run. Gutierrez scored when an attempted pick-off throw from catcher Austin Hedges hit the left fielder in the back and rolled down the line. Yasiel Puig singled home Bellinger to make it 3-0.

Richard walked three of the first four Dodgers he faced in the fifth with Chris Taylor and Turner scoring on Kike Hernandez's two-run double to left.

Richard worked five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits and six walks. He struck out five. Double plays helped Richard get out of the first two innings and he struck out Taylor and Corey Seager after Barnes reached third with one out in the third.

"Richard's command wasn't as good as it's been," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He couldn't get his sinker in the strike zone. There was too much bottom to it."

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The Padres opened the game with back-to-back singles by rookie Manuel Margot and Cory Spangenberg. But Margot was thrown out trying to advance to third after Wil Myers' fly out to center fielder Hernandez. Yangervis Solarte lined out to third baseman Turner to end the threat.

Kershaw didn't give up a third hit until Margot singled with two out in the fifth.

NOTES: Sunday afternoon's scheduled series finale between the Padres and Dodgers is threatened by a very rare May cold front in San Diego. Close to an inch of rain is forecast and temperatures are expected to be 15-20 degrees below normal. ... Dodgers' starting CF Franklin Gutierrez departed Saturday night's game with hip tightness in the fifth inning. ... Entering Saturday night's game, Dodgers' LHP Clayton Kershaw had 44 strikeouts while issuing only three walks. And Padres rookie RF Hunter Renfroe had drawn only two walks while striking out 36 times. So, Renfroe drew walks in each of his first two plate appearances against Kershaw. ... Dodgers LHP Rich Hill is expected to throw five innings or 75 pitches on a rehab assignment Tuesday and could be activated from the disabled list after that. He is on the disabled list for the second time this season with a blister on his left middle finger. ... Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal got Saturday off. ... Padres INF-OF Cory Spangenberg is riding a six-game hitting streak and has hit in nine of his 11 games since being recalled from Triple-A El Paso.

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