SAN DIEGO — The hardest opponent to beat is your daddy.

No matter how well you have been playing, how improved you are, how much you have learned, there is always that one last foe who has beaten you for years.

That's who the San Diego Padres are trying to get past this week at Petco Park.

And the kids showed Monday night that they won't shrink. In fact, they seemed in the end of the first round to be the ones making the Los Angeles Dodgers melt.

Dinelson Lamet and Clayton Kershaw dueled magnificently before the Padres drove Kershaw from the game and went on to a 7-2 victory.

Both teams anticipate the important match-up will come next month, but this was as big as it gets in September around here.

While the Dodgers are trying to close out their eighth straight National League West title, it had been a while for the Padres. Before this season, they hadn't played a game of consequence past July in a decade.

Monday's victory moved them to within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Dodgers, having closed that gap from 4 1/2 games six days ago.

The Dodgers' 33-15 record remains best in the majors. The Padres' 32-17 is right behind.

The Padres maintained they wanted to play this one like all the rest, as if the opponent were the Colorado Rockies or San Francisco Giants or Arizona Diamondbacks.

"This series, I know there is some hype to it," manager Jayce Tingler said Monday afternoon. "It's just opportunity. It's because we've played good baseball and put ourselves in this situation. We need to go out and do the same thing we've been doing, go out and enjoy it."

They pretty much did, finally wearing down the starting pitcher and keeping the line moving against the relievers that followed.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the third when Austin Barnes walked on four pitches and Mookie Betts flared a double in front of right fielder Wil Myers, who was playing deep.

Kershaw made it to the sixth inning having allowed two hits with eight strikeouts.

Trent Grisham led off that inning by tying the game with a home run to right field.

Myers beat out a grounder to third base to start the bottom of the seventh. After Jake Cronenworth flied out to left field, Jurickson Profar singled through the right side.

That was it for Kershaw, as he was replaced by Pedro Baez.

Jorge Ona greeted Baez with a looping double into left field that scored Myers from second base and sent Profar to third.

That's when Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy pitched in.

Pinch-hitter Greg Garcia hit a grounder Muncy's way with Profar headed home. When Muncy fielded the ball, Profar stopped a little more than halfway down the line. After motioning toward the plate, Muncy took a step toward first base as if to get Garcia. At that, Profar went home and beat Muncy's throw by sliding wide and reaching in to touch the plate and make it 3-1.

Grisham followed with a grounder to first that Muncy threw wide of second trying to get Garcia, bringing Ona around to score.

Fernando Tatis Jr. followed with a chopped infield single that loaded the bases, and Manny Machado got the Padres to 5-1 with a single to right field. Austin Nola's grounder scored Grisham to make it 6-1.

Myers' home run leading off the eighth made it 7-1.

Drew Pomeranz relieved Lamet after the big right-hander had allowed a run on three hits and struck out 11 in seven innings. Pomeranz ran his scoreless streak to start the season to 16 innings before Pierce Johnson allowed one run in the ninth with help from a throwing error by Myers at the end of Chris Taylor's double.

The Padres had not faced many pitchers throwing as well as Kershaw this season.

They won the games started by Houston's Zack Greinke and Texas' Lance Lynn against them last month. Kershaw on Monday was for six-plus innings better than either and almost as good as ever.

Bothered by back issues much of the past four years and scratched from his scheduled opening start this season due to back tightness, the 32-year-old left-hander is healthy now.

He entered the game with a 5-1 record with a 1.98 ERA over 41 innings, the lowest ERA he had seven starts into a season since 2013. That was the year he won the second of his three NL Cy Young Awards.

Cronenworth's double on the first pitch Kershaw made in the fifth gave the Padres their second baserunner and their first in scoring position. Cronenworth was still standing three batters later.

Grisham didn't let anyone strand him, as he led off the next inning by launching a fastball from Kershaw an estimated 397 feet to the section of seats above the party deck.

Grisham spun toward the Padres' dugout after hitting the home run and stared at his teammates before tossing his bat away, a move that angered at least one person in a Dodgers uniform. As Grisham rounded third base and passed in front of the Dodgers' dugout, he exchanged words — some (many) of which were unprintable — with that person (or persons).

"You don't plan it like that, but when it happens, the feeling and the moment, everything kind of comes to you," Grisham said after the game on Fox Sports San Diego.

The Padres have not been a good team most seasons, and Kershaw has kept them down as well as pretty much any pitcher.

He entered Monday's game with a 21-6 record against them. Five of the seven pitchers who had more career victories against the Padres are in the Hall of Fame.

His .818 winning percentage (9-2) and 1.68 ERA record in 16 starts at Petco Park are the best marks by any pitcher who has ever made at least 10 starts in the ballpark.

Lamet, who threw a career-high 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Rockies in his last start on Sept. 7, came out firing.

He had thrown two fastballs at 100 mph or faster this season (and in his career). He threw three that fast in the first inning, including the fastest pitch of his career at 100.6 mph.

Corey Seager's first-inning single, Betts' double, Muncy's single leading off the fourth inning and a pair of four-pitch walks accounted for all the baserunners against Lamet. In two starts against the Dodgers this season, Lamet has allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits.

Monday was the second start in a row in which he struck out 11. He dropped his ERA to 2.12 and his WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) to 0.89, tied for fourth lowest in the NL.

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