Gonzalez's Homer Boosts Padres Over Dodgers, 4 to 3 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gonzalez's Homer Boosts Padres Over Dodgers, 4 to 3

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Adrian Gonzalez's solo homer started a three-run rally in the eighth inning that carried the San Diego Padres to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.

Closer Heath Bell got out of a jam in the ninth and the Padres salvaged a split of an opening, four-game series against the defending NL West champion Dodgers.

The Dodgers had been working on a combined three-hitter before Gonzalez's one-out, opposite-field homer Will Ohman off the facade of the second deck in left-center pulled San Diego to 3-2. It was Gonzalez's first.

Cory Wade (0-1) relieved Ohman and retired Chase Headley for the second out before Gonzalez's older brother, Edgar, tripled into the gap in left-center. Gonzalez scored the tying run on Nick Hundley's single, and Hundley scored the go-ahead run when Luis Rodriguez doubled to right-center.

After starting the season with 11 1-3 scoreless innings, the Dodgers' bullpen was the last in the big leagues to surrender runs.

Cla Meredith (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Bell got out of trouble in the ninth for his second save in as many chances.

Bell allowed Orlando Hudson's leadoff triple, then retired Manny Ramirez on a grounder to shortstop. Bell then walked Andre Ethier before getting Russell Martin to hit into a game-ending double play.

Ramirez went 0-for-3 with two walks.

With the game tied at 1 in the sixth and runners on second and third, L.A.'s Matt Kemp hit a hard one-hopper that ate up third baseman Edgar Gonzalez, who was making a spot start in place of Kevin Kouzmanoff. The ball deflected off Gonzalez and into shallow left-center, allowing Andre Ethier and Russell Martin to score.

Ethier and Martin were aboard on consecutive one-out singles.

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw held the Padres to one run and two hits in five innings while striking out six and walking four.

Kevin Correia made his debut with San Diego, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked four.

Correia had a shaky third inning, loading the bases on a single and two walks before walking Andre Ethier with two outs to force in the Dodgers' first run.

The Padres finally broke through against the lefty Kershaw in the fifth inning. David Eckstein, who doubled for San Diego's first hit in the third, singled to bring in Luis Rodriguez. Rodriguez was aboard on the second of his three walks.

Notes:@ With L.A.'s Rafael Furcal getting the day off, Blake DeWitt made his first professional appearance at SS. DeWitt was drafted as a SS in 2004 but was immediately switched to 3B. DeWitt did appear at SS in 10 spring training games, playing 47 innings. ... Fernandomania began 28 years ago Thursday, when Fernando Valenzuela was pressed into service for the Dodgers on opening day when scheduled starter Jerry Reuss pulled a calf muscle. Valenzuela, now a Dodgers broadcaster, was an instant success, throwing a five-hitter to beat the Houston Astros 2-0. Valenzuela pitched for San Diego from 1995 until being traded to St. Louis during the 1997 season.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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