Kemp, Stripling lead Dodgers past Padres in LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Kemp slugged a three-run homer in the first inning, Enrique Hernandez added a solo shot in the third and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 4-1 on Friday night in a matchup of the two worst teams in the NL West.

Suddenly on a roll, the Dodgers won their third in a row and seventh in their last eight while improving to 11-14 at home. They are next-to-last in the division.

Lodged in the cellar, the Padres are 4-4 in their last eight.

Ross Stripling (2-1) has helped ignite the Dodgers after their slow start, winning his last outing in what was the start of a three-game sweep of the Nationals on the road last weekend. Against the Padres, the right-hander allowed one unearned run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. Stripling struck out a career-high 10 against no walks.

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save. The closer hasn’t allowed a run in his last nine outings after his early struggles mimicked those of the team.

Kemp’s offense has buoyed the Dodgers during their upswing. He went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored. His .338 batting average leads the team as does his slugging percentage of .536.

Clayton Richard (3-6) gave up four runs and four hits in six innings, struck out four and walked three. The left-hander’s run of pitching into the eighth in each of his last three starts ended as did his two-game winning streak.

Travis Jankowski‘s RBI groundout in the third accounted for the Padres’ lone run.

Kemp homered to center field after Richard yielded back-to-back walks to Chris Taylor and Justin Turner in the first.

Hernandez’s two-out homer was his seventh of the season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (right hip strain) played catch up to 150 feet and could possibly start in another week or so. … C Austin Hedges (right elbow tendinitis) had tests that were negative and the injury isn’t thought to be structural. It surfaced in batting practice Wednesday, when he began feeling pain and took himself out of the lineup. … RHP Phil Maton (right lat strain) went through his full throwing program off the mound. … OF Hunter Renfroe (right elbow inflammation) is on an extended rehab assignment at Triple-A El Paso.

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) is set to throw a four-inning simulated game on Saturday. If he comes out of it with no issues, the team will decide whether to send him on a minor league rehab assignment or return him to the rotation.