Los Angeles (11-12) at San Diego (8-14)

  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Sat Apr 29, 2006
  • TV: FSPT, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The slumping San Diego Padres try to avoid a season-high five consecutive losses when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

The Padres (8-14) were shut out for the second time in three games and only managed two hits in a 3-0 loss to the Dodgers on Friday for their seventh loss in 10 games at home. They have only managed two runs and 10 hits in the last three home games.

“I think you’ve got a club that is pressing as bad as it can right now,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s frustrating for all of us, believe me.”

The defending NL West champions are 3-10 at Petco Park and have only scored more than four runs in two of those games. They are 6-0 this season when scoring five or more runs and just 2-14 when scoring four or less.

San Diego’s home batting average dropped to a major league-worst .200 with Friday’s loss, as its last 19 batters were retired.

“This has gone on quite a while now,” Bochy said. “It’s probably the longest one I’ve seen a club go through. Hopefully, when we come out of it, we’ll come out if it for a long time, too.”

This is already the second four-game losing streak of the season for the Padres, who dropped four in a row at home in the opening week. They have not lost five in a row since an eight-game skid from July 17-26 of last season.

San Diego will give Clay Hensley (1-1, 6.28 ERA) his third start after making six appearances out of the bullpen.

Hensley earned his first major league victory when he pitched 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs—all in the sixth—and five hits in a 7-4 win over the New York Mets on Sunday.

“I’m not quite where I want to be,” said Hensley, who threw a season-high 78 pitches. “We still have a lot of work to do, a lot of conditioning. I feel that I am a little behind as far as stamina and stuff, but I think we’re in the right direction.”

The right-hander made his first career start in a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers on Sept. 10, 2005. He gave up three runs—one earned—and four hits in five innings.

The Dodgers (11-12) counter with Brett Tomko (2-1, 4.70). The right-hander has not defeated San Diego since July 23, 2003, and is 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA in three starts since then, all as a visitor.

Tomko, who went 10-10 in his one season for the Padres in 2002, is looking to build on his best outing of the season, when he allowed two runs—one earned—and four hits with six strikeouts in six innings of a 6-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

“It was just nice to get out of that inning with one run,” Tomko said of his 36-pitch first inning. “It wasn’t one of those days where you’re just saying to yourself, `What is going on,’ or `Where’s my stuff?’ I actually felt pretty good. I didn’t feel like I was wild or that didn’t know where the ball was going. I was making good pitches and hitting my spots, but I was just missing. I had a little hiccup in the second, but I got on a roll after that.”

J.D. Drew reached base for the 32nd consecutive game on Friday and seeks to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. The right fielder has only been held hitless in two games this season and is 13-for-36 (.361) during his hitting streak.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Tomko COL vs. C. Hensley WAS
8-7 Record 11-12
4.73 ERA 3.71
76 K 122
29 BB 76
1.35 WHIP 1.34