Padilla pitched five innings, Hank Blalock and Michael Young ended offensive droughts and the AL West-leading Rangers posted another shutout at home, 6-0 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night."Hopefully our offense is coming back," manager Ron Washington said. "We swung the bats, played defense and pitched. We did what we had to do. ... We know we can play with anybody. We're very confident."A night after beating Toronto 1-0, which followed a shutout loss, Texas beat the team with the best record in baseball.It was the first time the Rangers posted shutout victories on back-to-back nights at home in 29 seasons, since four in a row at old Arlington Stadium in April 1981. The 1-0 victory Thursday was only their fourth in the 16 seasons since Rangers Ballpark opened."[The pitchers] deserve a lot of credit for that. To do it against two pretty good teams is impressive," Young said. "It's fun to play defense behind those guys."The slugging Rangers are showing they can win with pitching and defense. But they would like to get their hitters back on track too.Young snapped an 0-for-17 slump, two at-bats short of the longest drought in his career, with an RBI single in the second after Omar Vizquel's grounder got through first baseman James Loney's legs for a run-scoring error.The Rangers hadn't homered in four consecutive home games, one short of their longest drought at Rangers Ballpark, until Blalock connected leading off the sixth against Hiroki Kuroda (1-2) to make it 3-0.The Dodgers were shut out for the third time after missing plenty of scoring chances. They stranded a runner at third four times and Loney, their RBI leader with 42, left five runners on in his first two at-bats. They left 11 runners, seven against Padilla (5-3)."It looks like we're still pressing to get hits," manager Joe Torre said.After Padilla walked two batters with one out in the first, Casey Blake hit a comebacker and center fielder Marlon Byrd recovered to catch Loney's fly ball for the final out.Byrd initially took a couple of steps in, then apparently lost sight of the ball in the lights before finding it and sprinting back toward the wall to make the catch with his glove fully extended. He ran back to the dugout shaking his head.With the bases loaded in the third, Loney hit a looping fly ball to left that David Murphy caught on the run near the foul line."Padilla attacked the zone and kept guys off balance with off-speed stuff," Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp said.Juan Pierre had a leadoff hit in the fifth, but was left at third when first baseman Chris Davis made a diving catch of Andre Ethier's liner only inches off the ground and Blake struck out.Padilla threw 108 pitches to win for the fourth time in five starts. Jason Jennings went three innings and Jason Grilli pitched the ninth to close out Texas' fifth shutout of the season.The right-handed starter threw 29 pitches in the first inning and was on the mound for about 15 minutes."They worked him pretty good. He was a warrior out there and hung in there," Washington said. "They had many opportunities, and we made pitches in situations when we had to."Los Angeles has long struggled on the road in interleague games. The Dodgers are 36-62 in American League parks since 1997, and 5-28 the last five seasons.Kuroda allowed eight hits and five runs, four earned, over 5 1/3 innings.Taylor Teagarden had a leadoff double before scoring on the error in the second, then had a two-run double in the sixth. Byrd had a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Despite threatening skies with some impressive lightning flashes, along with a tornado watch and heavy thunderstorms in the area, the game was played without delay -- or even rain falling. ... Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton missed the game while home in Georgia, where his first son was born Thursday. Broxton is expected to back in the bullpen Saturday. ... It was 97 degrees (heat index of 106) when the Dodgers took batting practice two hours before the game. It was still 91 degrees halfway through the game. ... Texas (35-25) has had more victories through 60 games only three times. Those were 1996, 1998 and 1999 -- the seasons of their only AL West titles.