Kemp was 2 for 4 with a double after missing 51 of the Dodgers' previous 53 games because of a left hamstring strain. Ethier, sidelined since June 28 because of an oblique strain on his left side, was 0 for 2 and got hit by a pitch following a two-game rehab stint with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga during the All-Star break.
Kershaw (7-5) allowed a run, six hits and three walks while striking out six. Last year's NL Cy Young winner, who threw 27 pitches during his one-inning scoreless stint in Tuesday's All-Star game, worked with runners on base in every inning and stranded eight before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter after 110 pitches with the Dodgers trailing 1-0.
Tony Gwynn Jr. led off the sixth with a bunt single while batting for Kershaw, triggering the pivotal rally. Padres pitcher Clayton Richard knocked down a vicious line drive by Jerry Hairston Jr. and threw to second for the force on Gwynn. Ellis then drove a 1-2 pitch just inside the left field pole.
Javy Guerra and Ronald Belisario both pitched a scoreless inning and Kenley Jansen worked a hitless ninth for his 16th save in 19 attempts, helping the NL West-leading Dodgers send the Padres to their fourth straight loss following a season-high six-game winning streak.
Richard (6-10) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out two and walking none for the third time in four starts. The left-hander has allowed at least one homer in each of his last five outings.
Richard didn't get to pitch after the All-Star break last year because of a shoulder strain that led to season-ending surgery on July 29. But this season, he and Edinson Volquez are the only Padres pitchers who haven't missed a turn in the rotation. Seven other starters are currently on the disabled list - Tim Stauffer, Micah Owings, Cory Luebke, Andrew Cashner, Anthony Bass, Joe Wieland, and Eric Stults.
The Padres scratched out a run in the second after Yasmani Grandal led off with a bloop double to left-center that Kemp inadvertently kicked toward the infield after attempting to short-hop the ball. Grandal scored on a groundout by Everth Cabrera.
NOTES: The Dodgers are 24-12 this season when Kemp and Ethier are in the starting lineup, and 24-28 the rest of the time. They have homered in the same game twice, both against the Padres - a 6-1 win on April 14 and an 8-4 loss on April 8. ... Last season after the All-Star break, Kershaw was 12-1 with a 1.31 ERA in 14 starts. ... Richard's only nine-inning complete game in the majors was at Los Angeles on Sept. 21, 2010, when he scattered eight hits in a 6-0 victory to mathematically eliminate the Dodgers from playoff contention. ... Ethier is 3 for 25 lifetime against Richard. ... Padres CF Cameron Maybin made a diving backhanded catch in left-center to rob Ellis of extra bases leading off the fifth. ... Hairston became the fifth player the Dodgers have used in the leadoff spot, and he went 1 for 4. It was the first time he batted at the top of the order since July 28, 2011, for Washington. ... Two-time Olympic Gold Medal-winning volleyball player Misty May Treanor threw a ceremonial first pitch to her husband, Dodgers C Matt Treanor. But before she did, she shook him off twice and then motioned for a new set of signs. ... The Dodgers optioned OFs Elian Herrera and Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque to open up roster spots for Kemp and Ethier.