San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - A.J. Ellis hit a two-run homer and Chad Billingsley made a successful return to the mound, as the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the San Diego Padres, 4-3, to take the middle test of a three-game series at Petco Park.
Billingsley (1-0) made his first start since Aug. 24 of last season, when he suffered a partially torn ligament in his elbow. An index finger injury in spring training put him on the disabled list to start the 2013 campaign, but the right-hander tossed an effective six innings of one-run ball, allowing just five hits.
Carl Crawford went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and a triple, while Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp, Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers each had two hits for the Dodgers. Brandon League worked around a shaky ninth inning to pick up his third save.
The Padres, who broke out of their scoring slump with a 9-3 win in the series opener, struggled offensively all game until plating two runs in the ninth. Chris Denorfia went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Will Venable drove in a run in the setback.
Former Dodger Eric Stultz (1-1) was charged with the loss. He gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings.