LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first-place Dodgers have staged plenty of comebacks this season. Just not after seven innings.
They snapped an 0-for-46 skid with two runs in the eighth and Clayton Kershaw outdueled Tyson Ross for a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
"We need wins no matter what," said Kershaw, whose team is 3 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco. "The Giants are playing better right now."
Kershaw (15-3) allowed one run and three hits in eight innings, striking out 10 and walking two. He tied Johnny Cueto, Wily Peralta and Adam Wainwright for the major league lead in victories. The left-hander was originally scheduled to start Friday, but he was moved up to give Zack Greinke extra rest for his sore elbow.
"I don't think I've ever seen anybody like this guy," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Tomorrow will be on to the next one and he'll be on a mission for that. A huge competitor."
Pitching on regular rest after Monday's day off, Kershaw bounced back from losing his previous start against Milwaukee after winning his 11 previous decisions. The two-time Cy Young Award winner retired 12 in a row before giving up his first hit — a single by Ross — with two outs in the sixth.
"My command was lacking the first couple of innings, but I was able to keep the pitch count down," Kershaw said.
Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth to earn his 36th save.
Ross (11-12) held his own against Kershaw, retiring 12 straight after giving up his second hit in the third. The right-hander allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings, struck out eight and walked two.
Carl Crawford reached on an infield single to the mound leading off the eighth and Turner followed with his fourth homer into the left-field pavilion, putting the Dodgers ahead 2-1.
"That was one of the most exciting moments of my career," Turner said. "We just try to pull together. Carl puts together a good at-bat. I caught a mistake off Ross."