The Los Angeles Dodgers know they have a key road series coming up this weekend, but first must take care of business at home Wednesday in the rubber match of a three-game series versus the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers are 4 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the National League West lead and will visit the bay area for three games on Friday. Luckily for the Dodgers, they didn't squander any more ground in the division standings after losing to the Padres, 6-3, in 11 innings on Tuesday. The Giants also lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Yasmani Grandal tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth inning, then the Padres tacked on three more runs in the 11th. Logan Forsythe stroked a two-run single and the hot hitting Chase Headley added an RBI hit for a 6-3 advantage. Padres reliever Luke Gregerson closed the door in the bottom half for his fourth save.
"I got a pitch in the zone and tried to go back up the box," Forsythe said of the go-ahead hit. "Anything that helps us win is exciting."
Headley was just named NL Player of the Month for August.
Chris Denorfia homered and Padres starting pitcher Eric Stults kept the club in the game with six innings of one-run ball. Tom Layne recorded the win by striking out the side in the 10th inning.
San Diego ended a three-game losing streak and won for the 11th time in 15 tries. The Padres are 2-3 on a six-game road trip and will begin a nine-game homestand later this week versus Arizona, St. Louis and Colorado.
Clayton Richard has been on a roll for the Friars and draws the start Wednesday. He has won three straight and five of six starts, including Friday's 5-4 win at Colorado in which he allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. The effort evened his 2012 mark at 12-12 in 28 starts with a 3.74 earned run average.
Richard lost to the Dodgers back on July 13 at Chavez Ravine, but is 6-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 11 career starts against the club. He will face the Dodgers for the fifth time this season (2-1, 2.63 ERA).
Andre Ethier homered, Mark Ellis had three hits and a run scored and Adrian Gonzalez finished 2-for-4 with an RBI for Los Angeles, which had a three-game winning streak halted and lost for the ninth time in 15 tries. The Dodgers are still within striking distance for one of the last two Wild Card spots in the NL at 1 1/2 games off the pace.
"We're having our troubles putting up runs," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We had a two-run lead and we weren't ready to hold it."
L.A. ace Clayton Kershaw fanned nine batters and surrendered a run on five hits and three walks over seven innings in the no-decision. John Ely was dealt the loss for permitting three runs and four hits in two innings of relief.
The Dodgers will close out their seven-game homestand tonight (3-3) and are slated to visit San Francisco and Arizona on an upcoming road trip.
Aaron Harang will make his 27th start of the season for the Dodgers tonight and hasn't won at home since July 4 versus Cincinnati. He has lost three of his previous five decisions and did not factor in the outcome of a 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on Friday, when he gave up three runs in five innings. The right-hander is 9-8 with a 3.76 earned run average this season.
Harang has faced San Diego four times this season, going 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA, and is 4-5 with a 3.99 ERA in 14 career matchups (13 starts) with the Padres.
Los Angeles is 9-5 against San Diego this season.