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Marquis sharp as Padres roll past Dodgers

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Associated Press
4/17/2013 1:37:26 AM
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LOS ANGELES -- It's been a while since Jason Marquis won on a consistent basis. Now that he's gotten his first victory of the season for the San Diego Padres, he's hoping to build on it in a big way.

Marquis pitched three-hit ball over 7 2-3 innings for his first win of the season and Alexi Amarista tied a career high with four RBIs, leading the Padres to a 9-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

"It's always nice to get the first win out of the way," Marquis said. "I battled, even though the numbers don't reflect that, but my fastball command wasn't where I wanted it and I had to resort to other pitches like the slider and the split. Obviously as a team, we've been struggling all across the board, so to win these last two games at Dodger Stadium is definitely a big lift."

Marquis (1-1) allowed his only run on Mark Ellis' bases-loaded sacrifice fly and struck out five on a chilly night in which the flags in centre field were blowing straight out toward right for most of the game. The 34-year-old right-hander had double digits in wins for six straight seasons -- but not since 2009, when he tied a career-best with 15 for Colorado.

"I felt confident going into the season," Marquis said. "but I got sick toward the end of spring training and my body didn't feel right. I was battling some mechanical issues, and I'm still battling them a little bit. But at the same time, the lights are on and it's 'play ball,' so you've got to figure a way to get guys out, rely on what's working that night and save all that tinkering for the bullpen."

Nick Hundley and Yonder Alonso each had two RBIs, helping the Padres win their second straight over Los Angeles after a 2-10 start and handing the Dodgers their third straight loss.

Chris Capuano (0-1) came out of the bullpen to make his first start of the season in place of $147-million right-hander Zack Greinke, whose collarbone was broken during a bench-clearing brawl with the Padres in San Diego last Thursday, after he hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch. Quentin, who charged the mound, served the third game of his eight-game suspension.

Capuano made two appearances during his stint in the bullpen, facing 11 batters in 2 2-3 innings and striking out four.

The Padres jumped on Capuano for five hits and four runs during a 27-pitch first inning that included an RBI single by Alonzo, a bases-loaded walk to Hundley and a two-run single by Amarista.

One inning later, Capuano took another flip from Gonzalez on a grounder by Alonzo for the third out -- but hit the bag hard with his right foot and started hopping around before returning to the dugout.

After Capuano began the third with a walk to Jesus Guzman, manager Don Mattingly and a trainer went out to check on him. Capuano tried a couple of warmup throws and was replaced by Matt Guerrier. One out later, Kyle Blanks doubled over the head of centre fielder Matt Kemp and Hundley followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.

"I came in after the second inning, taped it up real tight and tried to brace that ankle," Capuano said. "I felt like I could sit back on it and push off, but it was pretty obvious I wasn't driving off that leg the way I needed to. The ball just wasn't coming out right. I wanted to stay out there. I knew we needed innings, but I think we made the right decision. It was hurting. But it's just a strain. It's not a full tear or anything like that. We'll take a look at it on Thursday and see what grade of a strain it is."

Amarista, who had only two RBIs in 34 at-bats this season entering Tuesday, extended San Diego's lead to 6-1 in the fifth with a sacrifice fly after a two-out double by Hundley. The Padres tacked on two more in the sixth against Josh Wall, who gave up Alonso's RBI double and Jedd Gyorko's RBI single. Amarista added another RBI single in the ninth off Brandon League.

"That was good for Lexi. He had a rough go out of the chute, but he's come on a little bit now with some hits," manager Bud Black said. "He was a big part of last season, when we turned it around," Black added. "When we changed over the roster, he was one of those guys who came in and added a big spark. So it's good to see Lexi swing the bat better."

The Dodgers' other run came on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth by pinch-hitter Nick Punto against Andrew Cashner. Gonzalez was 0 for 4, ending his 13-game hitting streak against his former team. It was the first time he went hitless against the Padres since they traded him to Boston in December 2010.

NOTES: Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers in Wednesday night's series finale, needing one strikeout for 1,000. He has pitched 967 1-3 innings, compared to Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, another Cy Young-winning Dodgers lefty who needed 989 2-3 innings to get his 1,000th. "I like to watch Kershaw pitch because it brings back memories of Sandy," said Lou Johnson, who was Koufax's teammate for three seasons and is now a member of the Dodgers' community relations department. "I see a lot of similarities. One is the size of his hand. That has a lot to do with it. Another is he wants to be the workhorse. And they both have the same heart and killer instinct. I have said to him privately: 'Man, you pitch like another fella I know,' and he tipped his cap to me." ... The crowd of 35,898 observed a moment of silence for the second straight night in honour of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Both the left and right field scoreboards went black, and the Dodgers took the field to the song "I'm Shipping Up To Boston," by the Dropkick Murphys. The flags were at half-staff, and Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" was played on the p.a. system as a tribute to the Boston Red Sox fans.

Jason Marquis (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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