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Hiroki Kuroda caps a good night for Dodgers in 4-0 victory in second game

April 9, 2011 | 10:35 pm

Dodgers2_300 Sometimes, things just go right. It helps, of course, if you’re playing the offensively challenged San Diego Padres, but still, it’s not like the Dodgers did not make contributions Saturday night.

Their biggest came from right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.

Having used seven pitchers in the suspended game that started Friday and ended Saturday in 11 innings, the Dodgers needed Kuroda to eat up some innings in their semi-nightcap.

And Kuroda came through big time, coming within one out of throwing his first shutout in almost three years as the Dodgers won 4-0 at Petco Park in San Diego.

After a long Friday night that had four rain delays before the game was finally suspended, Saturday made it all worthwhile for the Dodgers. First they won the suspended game, 4-2, and then they came back to pretty much handle the Padres in the regularly scheduled game.

Handling the Padres might not be the challenge it was last season. They have the least imposing lineup in the National League and Kuroda almost attacked it with glee.

Through six economical innings, he held the Padres to only one hit. Kuroda had two outs in the ninth when he clearly tired, giving up a pair of singles.

Kuroda gave up five hits, struck out four and walked two. He threw 117 pitches.

Jonathan Broxton, who picked up the save in the first game, came on to get the final out. After he walked the bases loaded, San Diego's Chase Headley was called out when he ran into third baseman Casey Blake as he tried to field a Cameron Maybin grounder. That gave Broxton a second save for the day.

The Dodgers collected 14 hits. Andre Ethier had three hits, a pair of RBI and his first home run. Matt Kemp had three hits and three stolen bases. Jamey Carroll had three hits and Tony Gwynn Jr., who drove in the winning run in the suspended game, had two hits and two stolen bases. They also left 14 men on base.

James Loney and Gwynn made several nice defensive plays, the bullpen rested, and the Dodgers are 5-3 and feeling a little better about their weekend.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda works against the Padres on Saturday night in San Diego. Credit: Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press

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