LOS ANGELES – Chase Headley had four hits, including a three-run homer, Will Venable homered and drove in four runs, and the San Diego Padres beat Los Angeles 10-5 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series the fading Dodgers were hoping would get them back in the NL West race.
Clayton Richard (9-5) allowed four runs and 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings and struck out six while matching his shortest outing this season. The left-hander was coming off an 8-5 victory over the Dodgers at San Diego last Wednesday, and is 3-0 in four career starts against them. Last September, he held them to one hit over seven innings in a 5-0 win at Petco Park.
The Padres increased their division lead over the idle San Francisco Giants to two games with their seventh victory in 10 games. The fourth-place Dodgers, whose sixth straight loss tied their longest skid this season, are a season-worst nine games off the pace after winning the last two division titles.
Matt Kemp had a career-high five hits, including a solo homer and two RBI singles, but was one two Los Angeles baserunners trapped off first base on inning-ending line-drive double plays in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Dodgers held a closed-door meeting earlier than usual before the start of a series after averaging a paltry 1.8 runs over their previous 11 games, then went out and squandered scoring chances in each of the first two innings — despite getting hits from five consecutive batters.
In the first, they got two-out singles from Kemp, James Loney and Casey Blake — but Loney was thrown out at third by center fielder Chris Denorfia before Kemp nonchalantly crossed the plate, and umpire Ted Barrett emphatically signaled that the run didn't count. Andre Ethier and Russell Martin opened the second inning with singles and advanced on a groundout, but Hiroki Kuroda struck out and newly acquired Scott Podsednik flied out.
Kuroda (8-10) was charged with five runs — four earned — and seven hits over four innings in his rematch with Richard. Dodgers starting pitchers had a 1.81 ERA over the previous 15 games.
Headley and Yorvit Torrealba singled with one out in the fourth and Venable followed with his ninth homer. Denorfia then singled, advanced on Richard's sacrifice bunt and continued to third on catcher Martin's throwing error.
Richard was able to take second on the miscue because shortstop Rafael Furcal and newly acquired second baseman Ryan Theriot both chased after the ball, leaving the bag uncovered. One out later, Miguel Tejada drove in both runners with a bloop single on a 3-2 pitch, his first RBIs since joining the Padres in a trade from Baltimore last Thursday.
The Dodgers got two runs back in the bottom half with RBI singles by pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard and Kemp, after Richard walked his first two batters in the inning. But the Padres restored their five-run lead in the fifth against Jeff Weaver on Torrealba's RBI single and Venable's sacrifice fly. Torrealba extended his hitting streak to 15 games, one shy of his career best.
Headley broke it open in the sixth with his eighth homer, a first-pitch drive to right-center against Weaver with two outs that made it 10-2 after a double by Tejada and a walk to Adrian Gonzalez.
NOTES: This was the second time this season the Dodgers lost a run because a runner eased up on the way to the plate while another runner was erased for the final out of an inning. It also happened in Anaheim on June 23, when Martin slid past second on a bloop single by Jamey Carroll and was tagged out before pinch-runner Reed Johnson made it home. That blunder was the final out of a 2-1 loss to the Angels. ... Ted Lilly and Octavio Dotel, who were obtained in trades over the weekend, bring the total of former New York Yankees pitchers to be reunited with manager Joe Torre in Los Angeles to seven. The list also includes Weaver, George Sherrill, Tanyon Sturtze, Scott Proctor and Esteban Loaiza.