LOS ANGELES (AP) - Brad Brach couldn't stop smiling, and that's saying something when you're playing for the last-place San Diego Padres, who have lost a season-high seven in a row.
Brach made his major league debut in the seventh inning of a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, with his personal highlight a strikeout of Matt Kemp.
The 25-year-old right-hander gave up two singles in 1 1-3 innings and struck out three of the seven batters he faced. He earlier had his contract selected from Triple-A Tucson.
``It was definitely one of those things I'll never forget. I was trying not to concentrate on the batter and just throw my pitches,' Brach said. ``It's exciting looking back at it now. At the time, I was just worried about the next batter.'
He walked out of the bullpen feeling nervous in front of a sparse crowd at Dodger Stadium. When Brach reached the mound, second baseman Orlando Hudson came over with some encouraging words.
``He took all the pressure away and just made me concentrate on the hitter and forget about everything else that was going on around me,' he said.
Brach's trip to the majors included stops in Peoria, Ariz., Fort Wayne, Ind., and Lake Elsinore, Calif., where he was the California League pitcher of the year in 2010.
``The journey was well worth it, that's for sure,' he said.
Padres manager Bud Black was impressed with Brach's stuff back in spring training.
``The fastball at times has a nice cut to it,' he said. ``I'm sure it's a nice feather in his cap to look back and know that the first guy that he struck out in the major leagues was Matt Kemp. That's pretty nice.'
Kemp got his career-high 102nd RBI and Rod Barajas hit a two-run homer as the Dodgers completed a three-game series sweep. The Padres finished 1-7 on their eight-game trip.
Los Angeles starter Ted Lilly (9-13) allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He had a season-high four walks in his ninth career win over the Padres - his most against a single opponent.
Javy Guerra pitched the ninth to earn his 13th save in 14 chances.
Wade LeBlanc (2-4) gave up four runs and six hits in six innings for San Diego.
``I didn't have a whole lot today, so when you get to that point, it's just a matter of how close you can keep the game and give the guys a chance to win it,' he said. ``Mechanically, I just felt really off. I felt like I was rushing.'
Kemp's single to left in the first inning gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
LeBlanc tied it with a two-out RBI single in the second that was preceded by consecutive walks by Lilly.
The Padres' other run came on Alberto Gonzalez's RBI double in the sixth.
The Dodgers took the lead for good when Barajas hit a 3-1 pitch off the left-field foul pole in the bottom of the second. Barajas' 15th homer drove in James Loney, who reached on a leadoff walk.
NOTES: Dodgers RF Andre Ethier, who came in hitting .533 on the homestand, singled as a pinch hitter in the eighth. ... The Dodgers earned their fourth series sweep of the season and their second over the Padres. ... The Padres claimed OF Jeremy Hermida off outright waivers from Cincinnati and designated C Kyle Phillips for assignment. Hermida is set to join the team in San Diego on Friday. ... The Padres optioned OF Blake Tekotte to Double-A San Antonio and transferred RHP Dustin Moseley from the 15-day to the 60-day DL. Moseley had season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Aug. 3. ... The Dodgers placed RHP Matt Guerrier on paternity leave and recalled RHP Josh Lindblom from Double-A Chattanooga. Lindblom replaced Lilly and threw 16 pitches in the sixth inning.
The Associated Press News Service
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