LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig had four hits and two stolen bases after getting benched in his previous game, and Adrian Gonzalez hit a pair of two-run homers to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 9-2 on Friday night.
The teams met for the first time since a four-game series at San Diego in June, when the Dodgers lost the first two and fell a season-worst 9 1/2 games behind Arizona in the NL West. But they won the next two, triggering a 46-10 stretch that vaulted them a season-best 10 1/2 games ahead of the Diamondbacks on Aug. 23 -- the same margin Los Angeles enjoys with 28 games remaining.
A.J. Ellis homered in the seventh inning immediately after Gonzalez's second of the game and 19th this season. Hanley Ramirez's two-run double preceded the back-to-back homers off reliever Anthony Bass.
Dodgers centre fielder Andre Ethier threw out Nick Hundley at the plate in the top of the inning when he tried to score on a single by Alexi Amarista.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-5) tied Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for the team lead in wins, allowing a run and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings following his first back-to-back losses in the majors. The South Korean left-hander struck out six, walked one and drove in the Dodgers' first run with a double.
The victory was the Dodgers' 21st this month, tying the record for the most since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. The club record is 25 set in July 1947 and equaled in August 1953, when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn.
Eric Stults (8-12) gave up four runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings in his fourth start this season against the team he began his big league career with in 2006. The left-hander is 0-5 with a 4.91 ERA in his last eight outings.
The Padres opened the scoring with an RBI double by Logan Forsythe in the second, but the Dodgers responded with two runs in the bottom half on Ryu's two-out RBI double off the base of the left-field fence and a broken-bat single by Puig.
Gonzalez increased the margin to 4-1 in the third with an opposite-field drive to left-centre that followed Ramirez's leadoff double. Gonzalez, who spent five seasons with the Padres and wore their uniform in three of his four All-Star games, is batting .387 with six homers and 23 RBIs in 23 games against them since he was traded to Boston in December 2010.
NOTES: Puig's other four-hit game was June 30 in a 6-1 win against Philadelphia. ... Of the six first-place teams, the Dodgers are the only one that has a losing record within its own division (24-27). Three of their final 28 games are outside the NL West: Sept. 6-8 at Cincinnati. ... The last time the Dodgers had three pitchers with at least 13 wins was 2004, when Jeff Weaver, Jose Lima and Kazuhisa Ishii each finished with 13. ... In 24 starts with the Dodgers spanning his first four big league seasons, Stults was 8-9 with a 4.39 ERA and two complete games -- both shutouts. In 43 starts since then, he is 16-15 with a 3.51 ERA and no complete games. ... Ryu is 9-0 with two no-decisions when the Dodgers score six or more runs, and the team is 36-3 under those circumstances. All three losses were in extra innings. ... Ellis' homer was his seventh this season and first at Dodger Stadium.