Alex Wood finished his regular season off on a high note as the Los Angeles Dodgers fed off a five-run third inning to beat the San Diego Padres 6-2 on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
One day after Brett Anderson was brilliant on the mound in his final start of the season for the Dodgers, Wood was outstanding in his final appearance earning a career-high 12th victory in his fifth consecutive quality start at home.
"It's good to finish on a high note and play for home field advantage," Wood said. "I'm glad I was able to do my part tonight."
Wood (12-12) threw six shutout innings before running into trouble in the seventh inning. Wood allowed two runs on five hits in seven strong innings as he and Anderson vie for the third spot in the Dodgers postseason rotation.
"Guys wake up every day to play in the postseason," Wood said of making the roster. "I'd like to feel like I'm one of those guys and I'm ready for whatever role they give me and I'll help in any way I can."
More than likely, both Wood and Anderson will make the 25-man postseason roster as Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly plans on taking four starters into the NLDS regardless of what happens.
"We're talking about taking four starters," Mattingly said before the game. "We'll talk about four, we'll setup for four, and we'll make decisions based on what we need."
The Dodgers hung a high five on the Padres in the third inning thanks to six singles by Los Angeles.
Carl Crawford, Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez all singled to give the Dodgers the lead, and Corey Seager and A.J. Ellis ended the inning with singles as the Dodgers scored five consecutive runs.
"Guys want to get their at-bats in and stay fresh heading into the postseason," Eliis said. "It's nice to win games and make sure we're playing the right way."
Kendrick went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored off Padres starter Casey Kelly and Ellis was 2-for-4 with an RBI in his second straight multi-hit game.
"I feel good, I feel like I'm back to where I was before the injury," Kendrick said. "It's the right time to be healthy and that's what's important during this next push."
Kelly (0-2) lost for the third straight time after being called up on September 19th to make his first start of the season against the Colorado Rockies. Kelly was knocked around by Los Angeles allowing six runs (three earned), on eight hits in 4.1 innings.
The Padres went with a little bit of a youth movement in their lineup on Friday, starting rookies Cody Decker and Travis Jankowski after they shutdown veterans Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers before the series.
"I'm not a betting man, but in case I was, I would say they have pretty significant injures," Padres' manager Pat Murphy said of the trio returning this season. "We're not going to push people at this time. We're decimated by injuries which gives people opportunities."
The Padres also announced that they would not start James Shields on Sunday, ending his first season with the Padres. Shields finished 2015 with a 13-7 record, and a 3.91 ERA in 33 starts.
The Padres tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh after a leadoff single by Jedd Gyorko was followed by a double from Melvin Upton Jr. Upton had two doubles on the night, as he's reached base safely in four consecutive games.
With the victory, the Dodgers move a ½ game ahead of the idle NY Mets for home field advantage in the NLDS, which starts next Friday. The Mets and Nationals were rained out on Friday and will play a doubleheader on Saturday.
Take Me Out To The Ballgame
After 28 years of service, longtime Dodgers organist Nancy Bea Hefley announced she would be retiring after the season.
"I've had a wonderful time playing for the Dodgers and their fans," Hefley said in a statement. "My husband and I felt that this was the right time to settle down in our home in Silver Springs and eliminate all the travel."
Thank you, Nancy Bea! �� Longtime Dodger organist Nancy Bea Hefley announced she is retiring after this season. pic.twitter.com/mPR0RDXA3N
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 3, 2015
The Dodgers (90-70) surpassed the 90-win total for the third consecutive season the third time in franchise history a team has won at least 90 games for three straight years.
The Padres finished 17-games behind the Dodgers last season and are currently 16-games behind Los Angeles after re-vamping their roster in the offseason.