SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 21: Starting pitcher Clayton Richard #33 (L) of the San Diego Padres talks with Bud Black #20 as Nick Hundley #4 looks on during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park on June 21, 2013 in San Diego, California. Richard left the game after throwing only two pitches. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Two pitches into his Friday night start against the Dodgers, Padres LHP Clayton Richard left the mound and walked to the dugout. He won't be back on the hill any time soon.
Richard has an injury to the AC joint (at the clavicle near the top of the chest) and is headed for the disabled list.
"If I was able to explain it, it would probably help out the doctors," Richard said after the game, which the Padres won 5-2. "It's kind of like a grind on the AC joint. I think if we'll be able to calm that down, we'll be alright."
Manager Bud Black had to go to his bullpen for the entirety of the game. Luckily, he has some guys down there used to long outings.
Tim Stauffer came in cold. He allowed a run in the first inning, then shut the Dodgers out for the next three innings to earn the win.
Tyson Ross followed suit with three shutout innings, allowing Dale Thayer and Huston Street to finish things off with their traditional one inning each. The long relievers came up huge once again.
"There's no doubt about it, those two guys are the key to the game," said Black. "What Stauff did, and what Tyson did right behind Stauff, was extremely impressive."
On offense, the Padres knocked around Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw again. The lefty came in to the game with the best earned run average in the National League, but he's lost all three of his starts against San Diego.
Chris Denorfia hit a first inning, solo home run off Kershaw to tie the game at one. The L.A. left-hander has given up six homers this year. The Padres have hit five of them.
In the 3rd inning, Chase Headley showed signs of coming out of his recent slump. Headley smacked a 2-run triple down the left field line to put the Padres up 3-1. Chase offered a conservative assessment of why they've had so much success against Kershaw, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner.
"We have a good approach against him," said Headley. "And, maybe he made a few mistakes."
The Padres haven't made many mistakes lately. They're now 13-7 in June, tops in the National League. They've also won eight in a row at Petco Park.
On Saturday they have a chance to win their 4-game series against the Dodgers. Edinson Volquez gets the start for San Diego. He'll face Zack Greinke, who's facing the Padres for the first time since breaking his clavicle in a ... let's say "difference of opinion" with Carlos Quentin back in April.
It's expected to be sold out, which means heavy traffic for the game, which starts at 4:15. The Padres expect parking lots to fill up by 2:30, so they suggest using public transportation. MTS is offering "Special Event" trolley service from Qualcomm Stadium, where they're offering 5,000 free parking spots.
Traffic and parking updates will be updated at www.padres.com/traffic.