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MLB-X: Benches empty, no punches as Dodgers beat Padres

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Associated Press
3/26/2011 9:08:51 PM
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PEORIA, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw was perfect in his final spring outing and was long gone by the time the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres perked up their NL West rivalry.

Rafael Furcal was hit in the back by a pitch shortly after teammate Jonathan Broxton plunked a San Diego batter, and the benches cleared Saturday as the Dodgers won 5-4.

There were no pushes, punches or ejections during the dustup in the sixth inning.

"That's just players being players," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It was a competitive game even though it was spring training. It was good, spirited play."

The incident occurred after the Dodgers' half-inning ended when Andre Ethier began shouting at the Padres dugout from the on-deck circle. Moments earlier, Furcal was hit by Padres reliever Brad Brach.

Ryan Ludwick was struck by Broxton's pitch in the bottom of the fifth.

On his way back to the dugout, Ludwick stopped at home plate and began hollering at the Dodgers, but neither side got within 10 feet of each other as Black and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly broke up the dispute.

"I'll tell you what, I don't mind our boys stepping up," Mattingly said. "I don't mind at all."

Plate umpire Hal Gibson issued warnings to both teams immediately after Furcal was hit.

Kershaw retired all 10 batters he faced, needing only 39 pitches to complete 3 1-3 innings before giving way to the bullpen. Kershaw, who will start the opener on Thursday at Dodger Stadium against the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, struck out three.

"It's as good as it's going to get," Kershaw said. "There's no more room for preparation. It's time for the real thing. It's you're ready or not."

Juan Uribe homered and drove in four runs for the Dodgers. He connected off San Diego starter Dustin Moseley, who allowed five earned runs on eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Nick Hundley hit a solo homer for the Padres.

The Padres still aren't certain about the status of right-handed pitcher Mat Latos, who's slowed by a sore right shoulder. Black acknowledged on Saturday morning Latos could begin the season on the disabled list.

The team's training staff has been treating Latos since Thursday for an inflamed bursa sac. But Black hasn't established a timetable for when Latos might return.

Latos was 14-10 with a 2.92 earned-run average in a career-high 31 starts. He was in line to be the Padres' opening-day starter.

"It's day-to-day," Black said. "From what I've been told this can turn quickly and it can also be a little bit of time."

The benches clear (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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