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Padres' rally falls short in 9-8 loss to Dodgers

San Diego Padres starting pitcher Clayton Richard delivers to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of their baseball game, Friday, April 13, 2012, in Los Angeles.
San Diego Padres starting pitcher Clayton Richard delivers to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of their baseball game, Friday, April 13, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — The San Diego Padres rallied until the very end and still came up short.

Chase Headley hit a tying, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, but the Padres were beaten 9-8 Friday night by the Los Angeles Dodgers to fall to 1-4 against their NL West rivals this season.

The Padres struck out 18 times, tying the most by a Dodgers pitching staff for a nine-inning game. Los Angeles starter Aaron Harang set a club record with nine consecutive strikeouts and had 13 in all over 6 1-3 innings, tying his career high.

"He threw nine fastballs in the first inning and struck us all out," Headley said of his former teammate. "He came right at us and he pitched with a purpose. We need to do a better job of cutting down those strikeouts."

Headley homered off Kenley Jansen (2-0), who walked Chris Denorfia to lead off the ninth but then struck out his next two batters.

Andrew Cashner (0-1) retired his first two batters in the bottom half before walking Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp and James Loney. Joe Thatcher came in and walked Andre Ethier on four pitches to force in the winning run.

"Cash couldn't get the ball in the zone once he got the first two guys out," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I didn't really see anything different in his delivery. He was just looking to make pitches and it didn't happen for him."

Kemp hit an early two-run homer for Los Angeles. The Padres trailed 4-0 and then 8-3 before they rallied.

"It was a strange game," Black said. "It started off with two guys pitching really well, and then the game got crazy. I'm sure the Dodgers felt pretty comfortable in the middle of the game. Then we dropped it on them in the ninth and they came back with a gift at the end."

Harang broke Johnny Podres' previous franchise mark by striking out nine consecutive batters after Cameron Maybin opened the game with a single.

Podres had eight straight strikeouts against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 2, 1962.

"You kind of get in that zone and you kind of become oblivious to everything around you, what's going on. It's hard to explain," said Harang, who avenged a loss at San Diego last Sunday.

Hall of Famer Tom Seaver set the major league record with 10 consecutive strikeouts for the New York Mets against the Padres on April 22, 1970. Seaver fanned the final 10 San Diego batters in that game.

Harang's streak ended when Will Venable homered leading off the fourth on a 3-1 pitch. The right-hander, who pitched for the Padres last season, allowed four hits and four runs while walking four.

"We're certainly familiar with each other," Headley said. "He knows what he's going to try to do to get us out, and we know what to look for from him. He had really good life on his fastball, and when he has that little extra zip on it, it really takes off at the end. But we did a good job just clawing our way back in it."

Padres starter Clayton Richard allowed eight runs and six hits in six innings.

The Dodgers took a 4-0 lead in the third. Ellis' infield single to second base scored two runs with two outs. Ethier's RBI single scored Ellis and Kemp, who walked.

Harang gave up the homer to Venable before walking Headley, who scored on Yonder Alonso's double that left the Padres trailing 4-3.

"We've got to put together a complete game. We're killing ourselves early in the game by making mistakes," Headley said. "That's from everybody. There's not one area that you could say is exempt. As a team, we need to do things cleaner and better from the start of the game to be successful."

The Padres trailed 8-6 after scoring three runs in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Denorfia had an RBI double, reliever Scott Elbert walked pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman with the bases loaded and Headley added a sacrifice fly.

NOTES: The Dodgers have won 14 of their last 17 against San Diego dating to last July 8. ... Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully missed his fourth consecutive game while recovering from a bad cold. The Dodgers said the 84-year-old Scully is improving and could return Saturday. ... The infield tarp was pulled on and off multiple times before the game started and neither team took batting practice.