San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Josh Beckett dazzled over seven scoreless innings, carrying the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
The bar has been set high for Dodgers pitchers of late, with Beckett (5-4) and Clayton Kershaw each tossing no-hitters this season. Beckett didn't replicate that result but did the next best thing, limiting San Diego to just four hits and striking out eight.
He has now held opponents without a run in three of his last six starts, including his first career no-hitter against the Phillies on May 25.
Hanley Ramirez had two hits and two RBI and Dee Gordon scored twice and drove in a run for the Dodgers, winners in four of five.
Beckett departed with a 3-0 lead and the Dodgers made it 4-0 in the top of the eighth but LA's bullpen nearly coughed up the lead.
Cameron Maybin led off the bottom of the eighth with a triple off Paul Maholm. The next two batters were retired but Seth Smith walked and Brandon League took over for Maholm, serving up an RBI single to Tommy Medica. Rene Rivera followed with an RBI single, but Jake Goebbert grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen worked a scoreless ninth, bouncing back from Friday's blown save and collecting his 21st save of the season.
"The last few games we've been swinging the bats a little bit better," said San Diego manager Bud Black. "Hopefully it continues. Lot of baseball left this serason."
The Dodgers broke through with a pair of runs in the third inning against San Diego starter Tyson Ross (6-7), who allowed three runs -- two earned -- on six hits over seven innings.
Drew Butera got things going with a single and moved to second on Beckett's sacrifice bunt. Gordon plated Butera with an RBI single to center.
The speedy Gordon then stole second and advanced to third on Rivera's throwing error, scoring on Ramirez's sac fly.
"Any time (Gordon) gets on base, we know our chances of scoring go way up," Beckett said. "He's trying to get on base every time. It puts on a little pressure, guys behind him get better pitches to hit."
Beckett carried the momentum from those runs into the home half of the third, striking out the side.
Ramirez padded the cushion with a two-out RBI single to left-center in the fifth inning, and Adrian Gonzalez pushed across LA's final run with a single to center in the eighth.
Gordon stole his major league-leading 39th base of the season ... Beckett improved to 6-2 in nine career starts against the Padres ... San Diego's three-game win streak was snapped ... Ross fell to 0-3 over his last four starts.