- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Matt Kemp hit his fourth homer in six games, Rafael Furcal had three RBIs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Florida Marlins 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Vicente Padilla (3-2) allowed two runs and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings and struck out nine. The Dodgers’ opening day starter, who missed more than eight weeks because of an inflamed nerve in his arm, is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in four outings since returning from the disabled list on June 19.

Padilla’s teammates staked him to a 6-0 lead before rookie Mike Stanton chased him with a two-run homer into the first row of seats in the left field corner on the right-hander’s 112th pitch. Stanton added an RBI single in the ninth against Travis Schlichting, but Jonathan Broxton got the final two outs for his 18th save in 20 attempts.

The Dodgers’ sixth victory in eight games, coupled with San Diego’s 7-6 loss at Washington, put the two-time defending NL West leaders within three games of the division-leading Padres.

Chris Volstad (4-8) gave up five runs, five hits and three walks over three-plus innings in his shortest outing of the season and was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans right after the game. The right-hander is 1-6 with a 5.22 ERA in 11 starts since his back-to-back victories over the Washington Nationals May 2-7.

The loss was Florida’s eighth in 13 games since Edwin Rodriguez replaced Fredi Gonzalez as manager on June 23.

The Dodgers grabbed the lead with four runs in the second, as Furcal hit a two-run single and Kemp followed with his 16th homer halfway up the left field pavilion. Casey Blake, who struck out with runners at the corners to end the first inning, hit his ninth homer into the lower seats in the left field corner in the third to increase the margin to 5-0.

Andre Ethier drove reliever Alejandro Sanabia’s first pitch of the fifth inning into the right-field seats to make it 6-0. Ethier’s. 323 batting average is second-best in the league behind Martin Prado’s .332 mark for Atlanta.

Furcal completed the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth. He scored a run for the 12th consecutive game, the longest streak by a Dodgers player since a 12-game stretch by Gil Hodges in June 1953, when the franchise was based in Brooklyn.

NOTES: RHP Burke Badenhop was recalled from New Orleans to replace Volstad on the Marlins’ roster. … Furcal was named NL player of the week, after going 14-for-26 with 24 total bases and nine runs scored to help the Dodgers win five of six road games against division rivals San Francisco and Arizona. The only other time he won the award was in July 2004 with Atlanta, when he hit four homers in a three-game span and had a career-best six RBIs in one of those contests. … The Dodgers stole five bases against C Ronny Paulino, their highest total since June 29, 2007 against the Padres. Paulino, making his 26th consecutive start behind the plate, has thrown out 16 of 54 runners attempting to steal this season. … All-Star RHP Josh Johnson was named NL pitcher of the month on Tuesday, the fourth player in Marlins history to receive the honor along with Chris Hammond (1993), Kevin Brown (1996), Dontrelle Willis (2003, 2006) and Carl Pavano (2004).

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