SAN DIEGO — Russell Martin's RBI single was one of only two hits for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who beat the first-place San Diego Padres 1-0 on Sunday for a three-game sweep and their season-high seventh straight victory.
Chad Billingsley pitched into the eighth and combined with two relievers for a four-hitter. The Dodgers, playing their second game without hitting star Andre Ethier, won for the 12th time in 15 games.
After entering the weekend with a 3 1/2-game lead, the Padres' margin atop the NL West is down to a half game over the San Francisco Giants, who come in for a two-game series starting Monday night. The Dodgers are two games back.
Wade LeBlanc held the Dodgers hitless until Martin hit a line shot that zipped past both the left-hander's head and diving second baseman David Eckstein and into center field for a single with one out in the sixth. It scored Jamey Carroll, who drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed by Billingsley.
Manager Joe Torre wanted to give Martin the day off after he caught Saturday night, but figured it would be tough to give Martin, Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez the day off without having Ethier in the lineup.
Ethier has a fractured bone in the tip of his right pinkie and headed back to Los Angeles on Sunday morning to be examined by a hand specialist. The Dodgers aren't sure how long he'll be out.
So while Blake and Ramirez sat, Martin played.
Billingsley (4-2) shut down the Padres over 7 1-3 innings, allowing just four singles, striking out six and walking one. Jonathan Broxton pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in the series and his seventh overall in nine chances.
LeBlanc (2-1) allowed only two baserunners the first five innings, both on walks, and one of them was erased in a double play.
San Diego Chargers GM A.J. Smith sat in the fourth row behind home plate. His daughter, Andrea, is manager of Petco Park suites. Before the game, Smith met his counterpart with the Padres, Jed Hoyer. … Padres OF Scott Hairston sat out a day after tweaking a hamstring. … All three games of the series were sellouts. The total attendance of 126,819 was the sixth-highest total for a a weekend series in Petco Park's seven-year history.
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