National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, August 21
(All times Eastern)
San Diego Padres (59-66) at Los Angeles Dodgers (71-57), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Tyson Ross (11-11, 2.70)
Los Angeles - Clayton Kershaw (14-3, 1.86)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Clayton Kershaw will get an earlier-than-expected chance
at finding his way back into the win column as he gets the call on Thursday
night in the finale of a three-game set between the Los Angeles Dodgers and
San Diego Padres.
Kershaw will move up in the rotation to give Zack Greinke and his sore elbow
some additional rest, though Kershaw will still be on regular rest due to
Monday's off day. Greinke, meanwhile, had his start pushed back to Saturday as
he hopes to avoid a trip to the disabled list.
The left-handed Kershaw should be itching to go after suffering his first loss
since May 28 on Saturday versus Milwaukee despite logging his sixth complete
game of the season. He yielded three runs on five hits -- two of those homers
-- while striking out 11 to zero walks.
The setback snapped Kershaw's 13-game unbeaten streak (11-0) and dropped him
to 14-3 with a 1.86 earned run average on the season despite him logging the
most complete games in a season by a Dodger since Ismael Valdez's six in 1995.
"I thought Clayton pitched a really good game," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly
said. "He just missed his spots on two pitches. Give them credit."
Kershaw is 10-6 with a 2.38 ERA in his career versus the Padres, who counter
with right-hander Tyson Ross.
Though Ross has matched a club record with 11 straight quality starts, he had
a four-decision win streak stopped with a 4-2 setback at St. Louis on Friday.
He did struggle with his control while giving up three runs on five hits and
four walks over six innings.
The 27-year-old walked the bases loaded in the opening frame, eventually
yielding two runs in the inning, and is 5-5 with a 1.97 ERA with 72 strikeouts
over his quality start streak.
"It's kind of hard when you shoot yourself in the foot like that," Ross said
of the first inning. "Innings two through six were a lot better than the first
Ross is 11-11 with a 2.70 ERA on the year and winless in his career versus the
Dodgers, who he is 0-4 against with a 2.91 ERA in seven games (5 starts).
The Padres drew even in this series with last night's 4-1 win. San Diego
scored three runs in the second inning to give starter Eric Stults a lead, and
the southpaw combined with three relievers to make it hold up.
Consecutive walks with one out in the frame loaded the bases for Alexi
Amarista, who singled in the game's first run. Stults then stepped in and
lined a single to left. Jake Goebbert scored easily and Rymer Liriano came
around on Scott Van Slyke's error out in left field.
Stults allowed a run on four hits while striking out five to improve to 3-0 in
four starts this month.
"I'm executing pitches better," said Stults. "I've picked up the tempo a
little bit. We got some runs early and made them hold up."
The Padres had lost four of five coming in and beat the Dodgers for only the
fourth time in 12 meetings this season.
Roberto Hernandez went five innings as well in his home debut for the Dodgers,
absorbing the loss after allowing all four runs -- three earned -- on eight
hits. Hernandez was acquired from Philadelphia earlier this month and had made
a pair of road starts with his new team.
"Roberto took a lot of pitches to get through his innings, said Mattingly. "He
kept battling but was behind a lot in counts. Stults played on the edges and
changed speeds. Tonight we didn't do a lot with him."
Though the Dodgers have lost five of their past seven, they still lead the San
Francisco Giants by 3 1/2 games for first place in the National League West.
08/21 10:20:36 ET