For seven innings, Tyson Ross matched Dodgers ace an Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw pitch for pitch on Thursday night.
He allowed just two hits, striking out six while shutting out the Los Angeles lineup.
That all disappeared with just two swings of the bat. A Carl Crawford leadoff single in the eighth was followed by a Justin Turner homer to left field and suddenly the host Dodgers had a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
Ross finished with eight Ks against just two walks, but it wasn’t enough to top Kershaw’s eight innings of three-hit ball, punctuated by 10 strikeouts of his own. Kershaw didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning – coincidentally off the bat of Ross.
The lone Padres run came on a Rene Rivera single in the seventh that scored Abraham Almonte.
The loss is a bitter pill as the Padres drop the series despite pounding out 25 hits in the previous two games. It drops them 11 ½ games behind the first-place Dodgers and eight games out of the wild card race.
They head to Arizona for a three-game series with the Diamondbacks this weekend.