With Josh Beckett on the disabled list and unavailable to make his scheduled start, Paul Maholm was on the mound Saturday in spot duty against the San Diego Padres.
The left-hander has had his share of struggles this season, but was sharp early. The Los Angeles Dodgers had to shuffle their outfield after the bottom of the third when Yasiel Puig was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.
Maholm retired 10 consecutive batters before Chase Headley reached on a sinking liner to left. Carl Crawford, who took over in left after Puig’s ejection, was one step short of being able to complete a sliding catch.
The Padres wouldn’t make anything of it and the game remained scoreless into the bottom of the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez hit a leadoff single but was quickly erased on a Matt Kemp double play. Maholm continued to one-hit the Padres through six innings on just 64 pitches.
The Dodgers squandered a leadoff walk by Maholm with strikeouts from Dee Gordon and Crawford, and a Gonzalez fly out to deep center. Chase Headley hit a leadoff single in the seventh that spelled the end of Maholm’s evening.
Brandon League entered the game and got some defensive help from Juan Uribe, who started a double play on a soft grounder. After allowing a two-out single, League got another ground out to end the inning.
Ian Kennedy matched Maholm’s strong pitching into the seventh inning when he ran into some trouble. Matt Kemp walked, but was caught stealing in an out that cost the Dodgers as Andre Ethier followed with a walk and Uribe singled.
Kennedy escaped the inning by getting A.J. Ellis to fly out to right and Miguel Rojas to foul out. J.P. Howell pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but it was to no avail as Kennedy shut the Dodgers down in the bottom half of the inning.
Kenley Jansen allowed a pair of singles in the ninth inning and nothing else to put the Dodgers in position for a walk-off win. Gonzalez hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth that was followed by a Kemp strikeout.
Kevin Quackenbush intentionally walked Ethier to face Uribe, who walked to load the bases with one out. Ellis stayed alive after falling behind in the count 0-2 and hit a sac-fly to give the Dodgers a 1-0 walk-off win.
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