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SAN DIEGO (CBSLA.com/AP) — Carl Crawford led off with an opposite-field homer and A.J. Ellis added a two-run shot to back Chad Billingsley’s strong season debut and lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-3 victory against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
Billingsley (1-0) opened the season on the disabled list after bruising his right index finger during a bunting drill on March 15. He held San Diego to one run and five hits in six innings, with three strikeouts and three walks.
Crawford homered to left field on the second pitch from Eric Stults (1-1). He tripled off the left-field wall with one out in the fifth and scored on Mark Ellis’ single through a drawn-in infield to make it 4-1.
Ellis homered to left with one out in the second. Luis Cruz was aboard on a single.
Brandon League earned his third save in as many chances, but only after allowing two runs on three hits in the ninth. The second run that inning scored when Chris Denorfia struck out but reached on a passed ball by Ellis.
The Padres have given up 13 homers in eight games.
San Diego’s Nick Hundley had four hits to tie his career high.
Stults allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings, struck out four and walked none. Every Dodgers regular except Adrian Gonzalez had at least one hit off Stults.
Billingsley’s only rough inning was the fourth. Will Venable drew a leadoff walk and scored on an RBI double by Denorfia. Yonder Alonso walked but was erased on a double play and Alexi Amarista flied out to end the inning.
Denorfia started in place of left fielder Carlos Quentin, who was hit by a pitch on the right forearm in San Diego’s 9-3 win Tuesday.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)