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Kuroda Masterful As Dodgers Take Finale From Padres, 3-1

After scoring four runs total in six straight losses to the Padres, the Dodgers exploded tonight...for three runs, which was good enough, thanks to Hiroki Kuroda, and the Dodgers salvaged the final game of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium, beating the Padres 3-1.

Rafael Furcal got hits in each of his first two at-bats, and scored each time on an RBI hit by Andre Ethier, each one off a breaking ball from Mat Latos.

Latos allowed three runs in five innings, losing his third straight start for the Padres, who fell back into second place, a half-game behind the Giants, 13-0 winners against the Cubs tonight.

The Dodgers added a third run in the sixth inning when catcher Rod Barajas drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk.

Kuroda was a groundball machine, allowing just one run in his eight innings of work. He induced 13 groundouts and struck out four Padres. The eight innings gave Kuroda 190 innings pitched on the season, setting a new career high. He also has career-best numbers in wins (11), strikeouts (153), and ERA (3.27) this season.

Hong-Chih Kuo, in only his second appearance in the last 12 days, pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 10th save. Kuo struck out all three batters he faced.

Although they won the final game of the series, the Dodgers did lose the series with San DIego, their seventh straight three-game series loss. Country music legend Roy Clark, of Hee Haw fame, sang God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.

The Dodgers travel to Phoenix tonight for a three-game series with the Diamondbacks. Tomorrow's series opener will pit Clayton Kershaw against the rookie Barry Enright. Kershaw is 2-0 against the Diamondbacks this year, allowing two runs in 11 innings. The Dodgers have not faced Enright this season.