More importantly, though, they returned to their winning ways - as the NL West leaders have come to expect when the San Diego Padres visit Chavez Ravine.
The Dodgers look to continue their home dominance of the Padres on Saturday night, as Kemp and Ethier again try to ignite the offense against San Diego starter Edinson Volquez .
With Kemp (strained left hamstring) missing all but two games since May 14 and Ethier (strained left oblique) sidelined for the final 11 before the All-Star break, Los Angeles (48-40) dropped 15 of 20 to conclude the season's first half while averaging 2.2 runs and batting .198. The Dodgers hoped getting Kemp's .360 average and team-high 12 homers, and Ethier's team-leading 55 RBIs back in the lineup Friday would provide a spark, but that wasn't the case.
Los Angeles finished with five hits, but still won 2-1 to snap a three-game skid thanks to some surprise power from Mark Ellis , who drove in both runs with his third homer. Kemp finished 2 for 4 with a double, while Ethier was 0 for 2 and got hit by a pitch."Sometimes you rely too much on your 3-4 hitters," Ellis said. "But as long as everybody has good at-bats, everything will take care of itself and we'll be fine."
Although the offense again struggled, the Dodgers improved to 24-12 when Kemp and Ethier are both in the starting lineup.
The wins tend to come frequently for Los Angeles against the Padres (34-54). The Dodgers have won 18 of their last 22 overall meetings with the Padres, and 10 straight at Chavez Ravine - their longest active home winning streak over an opponent.
To extend that streak, the Dodgers will again try to again bet the better of Volquez (5-7, 3.52 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 6.60 ERA in three starts in the season series. Kemp is 3 for 5 with a homer and a walk against him this year, while Ethier is 3 for 8 with two doubles.
The Dodgers counter with Aaron Harang (6-5, 3.51), who was sharp in his final outing before the break, permitting one run and three hits in seven innings of a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati on July 4.
This will be his fourth start of the season against the Padres, for whom he played last season. He had a 5.91 ERA in two April outings versus San Diego, but allowed four hits over seven shutout innings in an 8-1 road win May 17.
Volquez took the loss in that one, giving up five runs, eight hits and three walks in five innings.
Although he has struggled against the Dodgers, Volquez posted a 0.92 ERA in his final three starts before the break. Against Cincinnati Reds on July 5, the right-hander allowed one run and five hits while striking out a season-high 10 in seven innings of San Diego's 2-1 comeback victory.
The Padres haven't won since that contest, totaling eight runs while losing four straight. They had plenty of chances to score Friday but went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position, dropping their average in RBI situations to .147 during their skid.
Headley is 1 for 6 with three strikeouts and three walks against Harang in 2012.
|San Diego Padres|
|July 04, 2012||Andrew Cashner||15-Day DL||Strained muscle in right side|
|June 21, 2012||Anthony Bass||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 10, 2012||Cameron Maybin||Day-to-Day||Left game - Sprained neck|
|June 04, 2012||Will Venable||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|June 04, 2012||Eric Stults||15-Day DL||Strained left latissimus dorsi muscle|
|May 31, 2012||Andy Parrino||15-Day DL||Sore right hand|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|July 05, 2012||Dee Gordon||15-Day DL||Right thumb UCL tear|
|July 04, 2012||Dee Gordon||Day-to-Day||Left game - Dislocated right thumb|
|July 03, 2012||Todd Coffey||15-Day DL||Right elbow soreness|
|June 28, 2012||Andre Ethier||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 28, 2012||Andre Ethier||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 03, 2012||Javy Guerra||15-Day DL||Right knee inflammation|
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Everth Cabrera saw his chance - and took it with an audacious steal of home.
That tied the game and forced a miscue that won it for the San Diego Padres . Will Venable came around when closer Kenley Jansen threw the ball past catcher A.J. Ellis, leading the San Diego Padres to a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.
"I had my eyes on the play the whole time. It was just a crazy play," Venable said. "He kept going, so I just went along with him and we ended up stealing one from them."
Alex Hinshaw (1-1) recorded two outs to get the victory, ending the Padres' 10-game losing streak at Dodger Stadium. All-Star Huston Street worked a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 14 attempts.
Jansen (4-3) ended up with his fourth blown save opportunity in 20 chances.
Yonder Alonso and Venable sparked the winning rally with consecutive singles, putting runners on the corners with none out. Jansen then struck out Cameron Maybin at the end of a grueling 11-pitch at-bat and retired pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay on a popup after Venable stole second.
Alexi Amarista worked the count to 2-2, and Cabrera saw an opening while Jansen kicked the dirt in front of the rubber a couple of times with his back turned away from third. He dashed for home and a stunned Jansen threw the ball all the way to the screen, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Plate umpire Greg Gibson immediately called Cabrera out, but changed the call once he noticed Ellis didn't have the ball.
"It all happened in a flash," Padres manager Bud Black said. "But that's Cabby. He's that type of player. He's aggressive and fun to watch."
Ellis had been the one making the alert play to win the game just months before.
On April 15, he started an around-the-horn triple play against the Padres in the ninth inning after Jesus Guzman backed away from a high and tight pitch and the ball hit his bat and landed in front of the plate.
The baserunners stayed put, thinking it was a foul ball - as did Guzman. But plate umpire Dale Scott did not make any gesture that the ball was foul, and Ellis seized the moment. The Dodgers ended up winning that game 5-4 on Dee Gordon 's single in the bottom half.
But on this occasion, Ellis took full responsibility for what happened to the Dodgers and refused to put the blame on Jansen.
"We just got that big second strike on their guy and the crowd got fired up and really loud," Ellis said. "I had my head down and just made a mistake. I need to be more heads-up and pay more attention. You can never let your guard down. I've got to be more responsible there. So that was on me. We were one strike away from winning that game, and you've got to be ready for anything."
Andre Ethier had four RBIs for the Dodgers in his second game off the disabled list, belting a tiebreaking two-run homer and a pair of RBI singles. Aaron Harang allowed four runs, three earned, and four hits over seven innings against his former team.
The Padres tied it at 4 in the sixth when Chase Headley hit his ninth home run.
But the NL West leaders responded in the bottom half against rookie reliever Brad Brach . Matt Kemp reached on a two-out infield single for his fifth hit in eight at-bats since coming off the DL, and Ethier sent his 11th homer to right-center.
Ronald Belisario relieved Harang and yielded a two-out RBI single to Carlos Quentin in the eighth.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez threw 111 pitches over five innings, giving up four runs, eight hits and four walks while striking out six.
Ethier, who leads the Dodgers with 59 RBIs, tied it at 1 in the first with a bloop RBI single. Ethier singled home Bobby Abreu with the bases loaded in the third before Volquez forced in another run with a walk to Juan Rivera . The right-hander, who leads the majors with 67 walks, minimized the damage by retiring his next three batters.
Quentin hit a leadoff homer to center field in the fourth, his eighth this season, but the Dodgers got that run back in the fifth on Adam Kennedy 's RBI double.
Kennedy started at third base in place of Juan Uribe , who is in a 1-for-33 slump and has only five home runs in 401 at-bats with the Dodgers - after hitting a career-high 24 in 2010 with San Francisco.
NOTES: This was the first time this season that Headley and Quentin, the Padres' 3-4 hitters, homered in the same game. ... Guerra was placed on the bereavement list and returned to his native Mexico, where his father had a heart attack Friday night. RHP Josh Wall, who has yet to appear in a big league game, was promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill the roster spot.