Billingsley and "B" Team Earn an "A" as LA Dodgers Sweep San Diego Padres

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Billingsley and
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

No Manny.  No Furcal.  No Blake.  No Martin.  All of them were missing from the starting lineup.

No problem!

Who needs stars at the plate when you have a star on the mound!  Chad Billingsley pitched solidly, and the offense scored big in two separate innings as the Dodgers defeat the Padres 7-3 at Dodger Stadium.

After Billingsley retired the Padres in order in the top of the first, the Dodgers started off strong versus Chad Gaudin.  Gaudin's out pitch is usually a sinker, but in the first inning, it looked more like a "stinker".

Juan Pierre started off with a single to center.  Orlando Hudson doubled to deep right, easily scoring Pierre.  It was Hudson's turn to score when Andre Ethier doubled to left.  A single to right by James Loney scored Ethier and gave the Dodgers an early 3-0 advantage.

The Padres made the score 3-1 when Chase Headley and Edgar Gonzalez had back-to-back doubles in the top of the second.

Chad Gaudin settled down, and Chad Billingsley refocused as neither team showed much offense again until the sixth inning. 

David Eckstein started the sixth with a single to left field.  Billingsley recorded two consecutive outs but then walked Headley and Edgar Gonzalez.  Nick Hundley struck out on swinging to end the threat.

The Dodgers' half of the sixth started out uneventfully as Matt Kemp and Mark Loretta made outs.  Singles by Brad Ausmus and Juan Castro left men on the corners for Billingsley.

Chad Billingsley proved he can do more than pitch when he drove Asumus home with a single to right.  Arturo Lopez replaced Chad Gaudin but didn't start off strong.

Juan Pierre singled home Castro and Hudson immediately followed that up with a double, bringing in Billingsley and Pierre, making the score 7-2.

The Padres were able to score again off Billingsley when Brian Giles homered to right.  Billingsley allowed two runs in his seven innings of work, striking out eight and walking four.  His record is now 5-0.

Will Ohman started the eight but didn't last long after Jody Geret hit a home run, and Adrian Gonzalez singled to right.

San Diego's burst of energy died off fast when Ramon Troncoso entered the game and retired all six batters that he faced.  

Notes:  

The Dodgers swept the Padres at home in a four-game series for the first time ever.

The Dodgers tie the NL record with three other teams by starting the season 10-0 at home.

Jeff Weaver will replace James McDonald in the starting rotation and pitch on Tuesday.

On this date three years ago, Andre Ethier hit his first career home run against Dewon Brazelton of the San Diego Padres.

Tomorrow's Game:

Eric Stults (2-1, 5.50) vs. Doug Davis (2-3, 2.91) at Dodger Stadium

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