LOS ANGELES — Chase Headley had four hits, including a three-run homer, Will Venable homered and drove in four runs, and the San Diego Padres beat Los Angeles 10-5 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series the fading Dodgers were hoping would get them back in the National League West race.
Clayton Richard (9-5) allowed four runs and 10 hits over 5 1⁄3 innings and struck out six while matching his shortest outing this season. The left-hander was coming off an 8-5 victory over the Dodgers at San Diego last Wednesday, and is 3-0 in four career starts against them. Last September, he held them to one hit over seven innings in a 5-0 win at Petco Park.
The Padres increased their division lead over the idle San Francisco Giants to two games with their seventh victory in 10 games. The fourth-place Dodgers, whose sixth straight loss tied their longest skid this season, are a season-worst nine games off the pace after winning the past two division titles.
Matt Kemp had a career-high five hits, including a solo homer and two RBI singles, but was one of two Los Angeles baserunners trapped off first base on inning-ending line-drive double plays in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Dodgers held a closed-door meeting earlier than usual before the start of a series after averaging a paltry 1.8 runs over their previous 11 games, then went out and squandered scoring chances in each of the first two innings — despite getting hits from five consecutive batters.
In the first, they got two-out singles from Kemp, James Loney and Casey Blake — but Loney was thrown out at third by center fielder Chris Denorfia before Kemp nonchalantly crossed the plate, and umpire Ted Barrett emphatically signaled that the run didn’t count. Andre Ethier and Russell Martin opened the second inning with singles and advanced on a groundout, but Hiroki Kuroda struck out and newly acquired Scott Podsednik flied out.
Kuroda (8-10) was charged with five runs — four earned — and seven hits over four innings in his rematch with Richard.
Headley and Yorvit Torrealba singled with one out in the fourth and Venable followed with his ninth homer. Denorfia then singled, advanced on Richard’s sacrifice bunt and continued to third on catcher Martin’s throwing error.
Richard was able to take second on the miscue because shortstop Rafael Furcal and newly acquired second baseman Ryan Theriot both chased after the ball, leaving the bag uncovered. One out later, Miguel Tejada drove in both runners with a bloop single on a 3-2 pitch, his first RBI since joining the Padres in a trade from Baltimore last Thursday.