LOS ANGELES (AP) — A little bit of discipline went a long way for Yasiel Puig.
The energetic rookie had four hits and two stolen bases after getting benched in his previous game, and Adrian Gonzalez hit a pair of two-run homers to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 9-2 on Friday night.
"He was good, got us going early and other guys kept swinging the bat," said manager Don Mattingly, who sat Puig in the fifth inning of Wednesday's 4-0 win over the Cubs because he didn't think Puig was ready for every pitch on defense.
"He played the game the way we want. The other day is over and he played well tonight. We've talked about it, and it's over. It's not something that continues on. It's been handled and we're moving forward. He understands where we're coming from. I like Yasiel. He's a good player, he's a good kid, and I think he's going to help us win. So I want him in there."
The teams met for the first time since a four-game series at San Diego in June, when the Dodgers lost the first two and fell a season-worst 9½ games behind Arizona in the NL West. But they won the next two, triggering a 46-10 stretch that vaulted them a season-best 10½ games ahead of the Diamondbacks on Aug. 23 — the same margin Los Angeles enjoys with 28 games remaining.
"You look over there and you know they've got some star power," Padres manager Bud Black said.
A.J. Ellis homered in the seventh inning immediately after Gonzalez's second of the game and 19th this season. Hanley Ramirez's two-run double preceded the back-to-back homers off reliever Anthony Bass.
Dodgers center fielder Andre Ethier threw out Nick Hundley at the plate in the top of the inning when he tried to score on a single by Alexi Amarista.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-5) tied Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for the team lead in wins, allowing a run and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings following his first back-to-back losses in the majors. The South Korean left-hander struck out six, walked one and drove in the Dodgers' first run with a double.
"He had a great fastball from the first inning and he set the tone," Ellis said. "He was pumping 93, 94 (mph) that first inning, and usually his m.o. in the past has been to build up to that as the game goes on. So I think he wanted to make a statement right away because he was pretty discouraged about the way the first inning went against Boston.
"It's just great to have another guy in the mix with those other two guys. It speaks to what kind of competitor he is," the catcher added. "But this guy's pitched in much bigger games than anything he's done so far here. He's pitched in Olympics and World Baseball Classics, and hopefully he's got bigger games ahead of him. He's the best pitcher in his entire country. So for him to come here and do this, I don't think any of us should be surprised."