Los Angeles (13-9) at San Diego (12-10)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Fri Apr 27, 2007
  • TV: PRIME, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, the top teams in the NL West just a few days ago, have each gone into a bit of a funk.

Both clubs look to get back on track when they open a three-game series at Petco Park on Friday.

Last Saturday, the Dodgers (13-9) had the best record in the majors at 13-5, while the Padres were just two games back.

Since then, Los Angeles has dropped four straight games while San Diego has lost three of four, allowing surging San Francisco to move to the top of the division.

On Thursday, the Dodgers squandered an early three-run lead in a 5-4 loss to the Giants, while the Padres (12-10) scored three in the first inning but ultimately fell 7-4 to Arizona.

“If you dwell on this series and it messes you up for the next series, it’s a snowball effect,” Dodgers center fielder Juan Pierre said. “Good teams and individual players know how to nip it in the bud.”

Los Angeles took two of three games from San Diego at Dodger Stadium April 13-15, scoring 20 runs in the three-game series.

Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez struggled against the Dodgers in that series, going 2-for-13 (.154) with four strikeouts, but has been swinging a hot bat lately. Gonzalez hit a three-run home run on Thursday, tying a franchise record with his seventh home run in April, and breaking the club mark for most RBIs in the month with 23.

Clay Hensley (1-3, 9.45 ERA) takes the ball for the Padres in the series opener.

Hensley recorded his first win of the season Saturday against Colorado, but it was hardly a gem. He allowed 10 hits and three walks, but only two runs in six innings of the 7-3 victory. It was still a vast improvement from his first three starts of the season, when he gave up 21 runs in 14 innings.

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 2.00 ERA in three lifetime starts against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles counters with Mark Hendrickson (1-0, 1.62), who is making his second start of the season.

The 6-foot-9 left-hander did a solid job as injured Jason Schmidt’s fill-in his last time out, allowing one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings of an 8-1 win over the Rockies on April 19.

Including three relief appearances at the start of the season, Hendrickson has allowed just three runs and nine hits over 16 2-3 innings.

“Mark has pitched well for us since Day 1 of spring training,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “We’re proud for what he’s done for himself and in turn what he’s done for this ballclub.”

Hendrickson is 1-2 with a 2.20 ERA in five games - three starts - against the Padres in his career.

Dodgers catcher Russell Martin is batting .438 (7-for-16) with six RBIs during a five-game hitting streak, and went 5-for-10 with five runs and four RBIs in three games against the Padres two weeks ago.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Hendrickson Bal vs. C. Hensley Was
4-8 Record 2-3
5.21 ERA 6.84
92 K 30
29 BB 32
1.39 WHIP 1.88


Friday, Apr 27