LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on July 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Clayton Kershaw's 2012 season has not been nearly as dominant as his 2011, Cy Young Award-winning campaign.
But, he's still one of the toughest lefties in the game. When you have a chance to knock him out, you need to take advantage.
The Padres had their opportunities Friday night. San Diego put runners on base in six straight innings, but time and again Kershaw wiggled off the proverbial hook.
The Padres only scored one run against Kershaw, on an Everth Cabrera groundout, and struck out six times. The Friars left 10 runners on base.
For a while it looked like their lone run might be enough. The Padres have their own lefty named Clayton, and he's pretty good, too.
Clayton Richard has been amazing against the Dodgers in his career. In 10 previous starts, Richard was 6-1 with a 2.62 ERA.
Clayton took a shutout in to the 7th inning, when he made one little mistake that cost him. Richard missed with a breaking ball to Mark Ellis, who sneaked a drive just inside the left field foul pole for a 2-run home run, the only runs the Dodgers scored.
Alas, they turned out to be enough. LA won 2-1, handing the Padres their 10th straight loss at Dodger Stadium.