The Padres ended their first real losing streak of the season, and they did it in classic Padres style: With great pitching and a little timely hitting. Brandon Morrow continues to excel, throwing a solid seven innings for the third time this season while picking up his first win. He struck out 4 and gave up just 5 hits and a walk. On the offensive side of things, Alexi Amarista and Derek Norris came up big to beat LA 3-1.
The top of the first was a pretty good clue that today's game was going to look a lot different than last night's. After Jimmy Rollins's leadoff single to center, Morrow got Andre Ethier to fly out to left, then teamed up with Derek Norris to end the inning with a a strike 'em out throw 'em out double play. The Padres, on the other hand, looked a bit better. Yangervis Solarte drew a one-out walk to bring Matt Kemp to the plate. The former Dodger hit an double to center, which should have put a pair of runners in scoring position, but Glenn Hoffman sent Solarte home where he was out by a mile. Solarte left the field with a trainer looking at his hand, but stayed in for the rest of the game. The Padres couldn't capitalize on Kemp's double, but the solid start set a tone for the rest of the game.
Alexi Amarista led off the bottom of the third, and we got what I know we've all been waiting for: His first home run of the season. After battling Scott Baker for nine pitches, he found one he liked. The Little Ninja pulled an 88 mph sinker, dropping it in right field several rows behind the Jack Deck. But power wasn't everything today; the winning run came from some small ball. Kemp led off the fourth with a walk, then stole second and went to third on a ground out. Derek Norris brought him home with his ninth double of the season. The Dodgers did eventually get on the board with a fifth inning home run to left off the bat of Alex Guerrero, but Norris retaliated in the seventh with his first homer in a Padres uniform.
Morrow handed it off to the bullpen after seven great innings, and they delivered. Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel pitched two perfect innings, with Kimbrel picking up two strikeouts on the way to his sixth save of the year.
James Shields will be on the mound tomorrow to welcome the first place Houston Astros to town for the first time since they switched to the American League. First pitch at 7:10 PM.
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