Dodgers help home-field chances with win
LOS ANGELES - A 6-2 win over the Padres, combined with a rainout of the Mets-Nationals game Friday night, put the Dodgers one-half game ahead of New York for home-field advantage in their upcoming National League Division Series.
Alex Wood earned the win by firing seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Wood had a shutout through the first six innings, but allowed a pair of runs to cross the plate in his final inning. In just his second start of the season, Casey Kelly (0-2), lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits and six runs, although only three runs were earned.
"Woody was good tonight. He was ahead in the count and on the attack," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He was keeping the ball down, changing speeds."
Six different Dodgers recorded a hit and five drove in at least one run, as Justin Turner was the only player with more than one RBI.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Keep the line moving: In the third, the Dodgers had five straight hitters drive in a run to break the game wide open. The Padres helped the rally with an error by Cory Spangenberg and first baseman Cody Decker dropped a potential inning-ending double play on the next play. From there, Corey Seager and A.J. Ellis added back-to-back RBI singles to center to add on to the lead.
Not a hit, but: Decker got his first big league start Friday against the team he grew up rooting for, 15 minutes away from where he grew up in Santa Monica. He was hitless Friday and is still looking for his first hit, but he knocked in his first run on a sacrifice fly to right field in the seventh inning.
"I have a Major League stat, and that's a good start," Decker said. "I would've liked to have gotten a win, but a stat is a stat. And any big league stat is better than all my Minor League stats combined." More >
Home sweet home: Wood put together another solid outing at Dodger Stadium, where he has been extremely effective this season. After Friday's start, Wood has a 2.41 ERA at Dodger Stadium since joining the club at the trade deadline, compared to a 6.14 ERA in seven starts on the road. More >
Upton with the assist: It may not have mattered much in the end, but Padres center fielder Melvin Upton Jr. helped prevent further damage in that third inning on Friday when he threw out Ellis trying to stretch an RBI single into a double. Upton did so with a throw from nearly the warning track in straight away center field, his sixth outfield assist in 61 games. He had two doubles as well.
"Melvin has been as sneaky good as anybody. He's had some good at-bats, made a great defensive play. You can see the player in there. You can see the flashes in there. I think he's still young enough where he can do some things," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy.
"It was nice to get his first RBI. He's putting a lot of pressure on himself to get that big hit and that's not good. He's thinking about the result maybe more than the process. But he's been great. Tonight will take a little pressure off him," -- Murphy, on Decker's first career RBI
"We just need to win every day and put the pressure on them and see what happens," -- Mattingly, on home-field advantage race with Mets.
UNDER FURTHER REVIEW
The Padres challenged the call on the field in the second inning on Alexi Amarista's grounder to first. Wood was late covering first base and missed the bag, but he applied a tag to Amarista, who was ruled out on the play and the call was confirmed after video review.
Padres: Robbie Erlin (1-1, 6.30) gets the start Saturday against the Dodgers at 6:10 p.m. PT. Erlin is coming off a gem against the D-backs the last time out when he allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings. This is his final chance to impress the staff before Spring Training.
Dodgers: Zack Greinke will make his final case for the National League Cy Young award in the middle game of the three-game set. Greinke earned a no-decision in his last start against the Dodgers, but his 18 wins are already a career-high.
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