Bullpen answers early call as Padres top Kershaw
Stauffer, Ross lead way after Richard exits during first at-bat
SAN DIEGO -- Pitching saved the Padres on Friday, which might sound awfully peculiar after their starter, Clayton Richard, left the game after throwing only two pitches.
The work of the bullpen, called upon early, went a long way in the Padres' 5-2 victory over the Dodgers before a Petco Park crowd of 31,844 who were likely stunned to see Richard depart the game shortly after it started after suffering pain in the AC joint near his left shoulder.
Richard will head to the disabled list Saturday with the team adding a pitcher to give them some help in the bullpen, especially after their two long relievers -- first Tim Stauffer and then Tyson Ross -- were unexpectedly pressed into duty early against the Dodgers.
They weren't just pressed into duty, said Padres manager Bud Black. They responded in a very big way.
"Those two guys were the key to the game," Black said.
Stauffer and Ross combined to allow one run over seven innings as the Padres (38-36) won the second game of the four-game series with the Dodgers (30-42), who saw pitcher Clayton Kershaw again have trouble with the Padres' lineup.
Kershaw (5-5), who is winless in his past six starts, is now 0-3 with a 4.67 ERA against the Padres in 2013.
"They battle him pretty good. They've seen him a lot. They make him pitch. They foul a lot of balls off," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "[It's] just a tough club for him. They don't punch out a ton. They put the ball in play. They've got guys that match up with him."
And on this night, the Padres had two pitchers who matched up well with Kershaw. First it was Stauffer, who was given prior notice that he might be needed for Richard -- who had some soreness after his last start on Sunday.
Stauffer, who was given all the time he needed to get warmed up after Richard left, allowed a run in the first inning but little else. He allowed the one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts while throwing 73 pitches in four innings.
"It didn't' take too long. Physically, I felt loose and was able to slow things down," said Stauffer, who will be a candidate to replace Richard in the rotation when the Padres get around to making that decision. "They came out swinging. Luckily, I was able to minimize the damage."
Ross followed Stauffer (1-0) and allowed two hits over three scoreless innings. Ross walked two but was able to get double-play balls in the sixth and seventh innings.
"Tim had a little bit of a heads-up, so mentally I think he was in the right frame of mind," Black said. "And then Tyson probably knew mentally how this game was going to unfold, that we're probably going to use multiple relievers. They both pitched outstanding."
The offense wasn't too shabby, either.
And that the Padres did their damage against Kershaw -- who until this season had typically fared well against San Diego -- proved notable.
Trailing, 1-0, the Padres tied the score when Chris Denorfia connected for his third career home run off Kershaw in the first inning. Two innings later, the first four batters of the inning reached base against Kershaw -- with Chase Headley chasing two runs home with a triple into the left-field corner.
Kyle Blanks added a run when he dumped a soft single that fell in front of the charging center fielder, Skip Schumaker, for a 4-1 advantage.
Kershaw pitched better thereafter, leaving after six innings. He yielded four runs on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
"I think we're throwing the whole lineup at him. We've having good at-bats. Fortunately, we've been able to get to him a little bit," Headley said. "We've beat him a few times but we haven't beat up on him."
The Padres moved two games above .500 for just the second time this season -- and the first time was just last week. The win proved costly for a team with already four position players on the disabled list -- with Richard headed there now as well.
"It was rough, something I hoped wouldn't happen," Richard said. "I had some discomfort this week leading up to [the start], but I thought I'd be able to get through. Unfortunately, once I got going I knew things weren't right.
"Thankfully Tim and Tyson picked up the slack and did awesome."