EditorsNote: Adds Kershaw pitched six innings; other minor edits
Rookie catcher Will Smith slugged a go-ahead grand slam to help the Los Angeles Dodgers record an 8-2 victory over the visiting San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
Cody Bellinger homered and drove in three runs for Los Angeles, which is a major league-best 41-14 at home. A.J. Pollock went 3-for-4 and scored twice.
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw (10-2) overcame a season-worst five walks to improve to 20-6 all-time against the Padres. Kershaw gave up two runs and six hits in six innings and struck out five to move into third place in Dodgers’ history with 2,397.
Kershaw passed legendary Sandy Koufax (2,396) when he fanned Austin Hedges for the second out in the sixth inning. Don Sutton (2,696) and Don Drysdale (2,486) are the top two on the team’s list.
Hunter Renfroe smacked his 30th homer of the season for the Padres, who have dropped 13 of their past 18 games.
San Diego held a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when left-handed starter Joey Lucchesi (7-6) gave up a leadoff single to Pollock and back-to-back two-out walks to Bellinger and Tyler White.
Right-hander Trey Wingenter entered and fell behind in the count 2-1 to Smith, who was ready for a fastball and drilled it over the center field fence to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead. Smith has six homers and 19 RBIs in 14 major league games.
Los Angeles added another run later in the sixth on Matt Beaty’s double into the right-center field gap.
Bellinger struck for more damage in the seventh as his opposite-field shot to left eluded Wil Myers and caromed off the wall for a two-run double to make it 8-2.
Renfroe started the scoring in the second inning with a 405-foot shot inside the left field foul pole off Kershaw. The homer made him the 14th player in San Diego history to hit at least 30 in a season. It is the 20th overall 30-homer campaign in club annals.
Bellinger knotted the score in the second by hitting Lucchesi’s sinker 425 feet over the fence in right. The homer was the 35th of the season for Bellinger, who had failed to go deep in his previous 12 appearances.
Manny Machado delivered a line-drive single past Kershaw in the third to give the Padres a 2-1 edge.
Lucchesi was charged with four runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.
—Field Level Media