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Yasiel Puig launches homer, Clayton Kershaw rolls Padres in 4-0 win

Tuneups, that’s where the Dodgers are at. Fine tuning, healing, getting any bugs out before they start the postseason.

Not a bad start Saturday in their 4-0 victory over the Padres in San Diego.

If Clayton Kershaw was any more finely tuned he’d be a Steinway, Yasiel Puig would be a JPL rocket launcher and A.J. Ellis would be trying to convince people he’s really not the second coming of Johnny Bench.

After playing their “B” team the previous night, the Dodgers rolled out their varsity lineup against the Padres, but no one loomed larger by game’s end than Kershaw.

Polishing up his Cy Young numbers, Kershaw went seven mostly easy innings, holding the Padres scoreless on three hits and two walks. He struck out 10 and lowered his baseball-best earned-run average to 1.88.

Kershaw (15-9) is scheduled to have one more start before pitching the Dodgers’ playoff opener, where he may hope to be supported by a pair of two-run homers like he was Saturday from Puig and Ellis.

Ellis, who hit the game-winning home run in Thursday’s NL West-clinching victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, gave Kershaw a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning with his two-run homer.

But the one that left everyone searching to pick up their jaw from the floor was the absolute shot by Puig.

As is his wont, he swung at the first pitch he saw from reliever Tim Stauffer. Then it disappeared into the San Diego night. It was finally spotted clearing the center-field wall, the second wall behind that and the row of scrubs after that. Then it killed some kind of giant tree.

The home run, Puig’s 18th this season, was estimated at 457 feet, which would make the second-longest home run it Petco Park history -- by a foot. The longest came from his teammate, Adrian Gonzalez, who hit a 458-foot home run while with the Padres in 2009.

Ronald Belisario and Brian Wilson completed the shutout, each throwing a scoreless inning. The Dodgers have seven regular-season games remaining to complete all this fine tuning before starting the postseason.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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