The Dodgers are 3 1/2 games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race with seven games left. Los Angeles has lost five of seven since sweeping the Padres at Dodger Stadium from Sept. 12-14.
Phil Nevin hit a three-run homer and San Diego opened its final homestand at Qualcomm Stadium by beating Los Angeles 9-5 Monday.
“They beat us in the first two innings,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “When we get down that quickly, you won’t find too many times when we came back and overcame a deficit like that.”
“We’re still in it and still playing,” Tracy said.
Alvarez brings a 22-inning scoreless streak into Tuesday’s game. The veteran left-hander has won four straight starts and is 6-1 this season.
“He’s been that way the last six, seven outings, just lights out, just dominating,” catcher Paul Lo Duca said. “He’s been getting ahead of hitters, throwing strikes and going right after guys.”
The Padres were coming off a 2-8 road trip.
“We’re not talking about being spoilers,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’re trying to finish strong. They’ve got a great ballclub over there and it was an important ballgame, but it was important for us, too.”
The Padres have six games left at Qualcomm Stadium, where they’ve played for 35 seasons. Their new downtown ballpark is scheduled to open in April.
STANDINGS: Dodgers - 2nd place, 14 GB, NL West. Padres - 5th place, 34 1/2 GB, NL West.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Alvarez (6-1, 1.99 ERA). Alvarez shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks on four hits over seven innings, earning a 2-0 win on Thursday. The left-hander struck out four and walked one. Alvarez blanked San Diego on four hits to earn a 6-0 win on Sept. 12.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Jake Peavy (12-11, 4.21 ERA). The rookie right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.58 ERA against Los Angeles. Peavy pitched 6 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits to pick up a 7-3 win over San Francisco on Thursday.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Lo Duca, .279 avg.; Jeromy Burnitz, 29 HRs; Shawn Green, 81 RBIs and 81 runs; Dave Roberts, 40 SBs. Padres - Mark Loretta, .323 avg.; Ryan Klesko, 21 HRs; Brian Giles, 86 RBIs and 89 runs; Gary Matthews Jr., 12 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Padres, 10-6.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - LHP Alvarez has given up two earned runs over his last 28 innings. … OF Burnitz needs one more home run to reach the 30-homer mark for the fifth time in six seasons. … RHP Eric Gagne leads the majors with 54 saves. He needs three more to tie Bobby Thigpen for the major league record. Thigpen saved 57 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1990. Padres - 2B Loretta has 184 hits this season, which ties Roberto Alomar’s team record for second baseman set in 1989. … INF Nevin is 0-for-6 lifetime against Alvarez. … OF Xavier Nady is batting .400 (8-for-20) in September.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 36-38 on the road; Padres - 33-42 at home.
INJURIES: Dodgers - OF Brian Jordan (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Alfredo Gonzalez (shoulder), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Padres - INF Klesko (shoulder), 15-day DL.