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Dodgers edge Padres to inch closer in wild-card race

Associated Press

9/28/2012 2:12:01 AM

SAN DIEGO - Chris Capuano won for the first time in eight starts and the Los Angeles Dodgers inched closer in the wild-card race, beating the San Diego Padres 8-4 on Thursday night.

Luis Cruz hit a two-run single to help the Dodgers pull within three games of idle St. Louis for the second NL wild card. Both teams have six games remaining.

Capuano (12-11) carried a 6-0 lead into the sixth. The left-hander allowed one run and five hits in 5 1-3 innings for his first win since Aug. 12 at Miami.

Cruz had three hits, including his key single in the fifth as Los Angeles scored four runs with two outs to go ahead 5-0.

The Dodgers had 14 hits for the second straight game. Before that, the struggling offence managed more than three runs in only four of 19 games.

Matt Kemp was 2 for 5 with an RBI to finish the season hitting .406 (26 for 64) with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 15 games against the Padres.

Rookie starter Casey Kelly (2-3) gave up five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings. The right-hander struck out six, walked two and hit two batters with pitches.

The loss assured San Diego (74-82) of its third consecutive losing season. The Padres have had 13 winning seasons in their 44-year history.

A.J. Ellis' RBI single in the fourth put the Dodgers ahead before they struck for four runs in the fifth.

With two outs, Kemp doubled and Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked. Kelly then hit Handley Ramirez and Shane Victorino with pitches to force in a run.

Nick Vincent replaced Kelly and gave up Cruz's two-run single followed by Ellis' RBI single. Vincent struck out Capuano to end the inning.

Capuano walked Chase Headley to open the sixth and allowed Yasmani Grandal's single before throwing a wild pitch. After getting an out, Capuano was lifted for Paco Rodriguez, who got the second out before giving up Everth Cabrera's infield single to load the bases.

Jamey Wright relieved and plunked pinch-hitter Carlos Quentin with a pitch to bring in a run.

San Diego scored three runs in the eighth off Ronald Belisario on pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay's two-run double and an RBI single by pinch-hitter Will Venable to cut the lead to 7-4.

The Dodgers finished 41-40 on the road, their third winning record away from Dodger Stadium in the last 10 seasons.

NOTES: Capuano pitched past the fifth inning for the fourth time in his last eight starts. ... The Dodgers finished 11-7 this season against San Diego. ... Padres 2B Logan Forsythe was scratched from the lineup with a sore right knee. ... Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (12-9, 2.68 ERA) will face Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (5-6, 5.54) when Los Angeles opens a three-game series at home Friday night. ... Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong (13-9, 5.38) opposes Padres LHP Andrew Werner (2-2, 4.64) on Friday night at Petco Park in the opener of a three-game set.