Los Angeles (34-25) at San Diego (35-23)

Partly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Thu Jun 7, 2007
  • TV: KCAL, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The NL West-leading San Diego Padres have used outstanding pitching to win the first two games of their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

They’ll send baseball’s ERA leader Jake Peavy to the mound Thursday night when they go for the sweep at Petco Park.

San Diego (35-23) has won four straight games and 16 out of 21 after starters Chris Young and Greg Maddux picked up wins in the first two games of the series. Young allowed three hits over seven innings in a 1-0 win on Tuesday, and Maddux gave up two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-2 win the next day.

It’s been just as hard for the Dodgers (34-25) to score at the end of those games since Padres closer Trevor Hoffman has pitched scoreless ninth innings to save both wins, the latter the 500th of his career. Baseball’s all-time saves leader has converted 14 straight chances.

“They started the game with one Hall of Famer and they finished it off with another,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said Wednesday. “That is the way the game is supposed to be played. They just outplayed us out there tonight. They outpitched us and outhit us.”

Peavy (7-1, 1.68 ERA) is enjoying a fantastic season, and he’s 7-1 with a 2.31 ERA in 14 career outings against Los Angeles—including 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA over his last nine starts. He already owns one victory over the Dodgers this season, yielding one run and three hits over seven innings in a 7-2 win on April 14.

The right-hander has also never lost at home to the Dodgers, going 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA in seven outings against them.

Dodgers left fielder Luis Gonzalez has enjoyed plenty of success against Peavy, mostly from his days with Arizona. Gonzalez is hitting .381 (16-for-42) with four homers versus him.

The Padres have lost just three of Peavy’s 12 outings, but one of them was a 4-3, 10-inning defeat at Washington last Friday. Peavy pitched seven innings, gave up three runs and matched a season high by allowing 10 hits.

“Just didn’t feel good out there—just didn’t have good, electric stuff. … Just couldn’t really get it going out there,” Peavy said.

Geoff Blum, filling in for Khalil Greene, doubled in two runs in the second inning and singled home two more in the third to key Wednesday’s victory. Greene is bothered by a sore right elbow.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, haven’t gotten much from the top of their batting order in this series. Leadoff hitter Juan Pierre is 1-for-8 and Rafael Furcal is hitless in seven at-bats.

Hong-Chih Kuo (0-1, 7.71) will make his second start of the season for the Dodgers. He gave up two runs and five hits over 4 2-3 innings in his first start, a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Kuo has never started against the Padres, although he has pitched against them twice in relief. He was charged with the loss last June 14 against San Diego, when he allowed two runs and retired only one batter in a 5-3 loss.

Los Angeles and San Diego have split eight games this season. The Dodgers’ bullpen has posted a 1.39 ERA in the matchups, striking out 36 and walking only 10.

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Starting Pitchers

H. Kuo Sea vs. J. Peavy SF
1-4 Record 19-6
7.42 ERA 2.54
27 K 240
14 BB 68
1.62 WHIP 1.06

Scoreboard

Thursday, Jun 7