The Padres (46-33) look to continue their recent domination of the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon when the teams close out a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
On Saturday, San Diego won for the 10th time in its last 14 road games in Los Angeles, beating the Dodgers 3-1 in 12 innings.
The matchup between Cy Young Award candidates Jake Peavy and Brad Penny lived up to expectations. Both lasted seven innings and allowed one run and five hits. Peavy struck out six and Penny had seven strikeouts.
Jose Cruz Jr. and pinch-hitter Geoff Blum each hit an RBI double in the 12th to help San Diego take a two-game lead over the third-place Dodgers (45-36) in the NL West. The Arizona Diamondbacks are in second place, 1 1/2 games out of first place.
“Extra innings are not fun, so I’m glad we were able to score those two runs there,” said Cruz, a former Dodger. “It could have been a super marathon and then have a day game tomorrow. Every inning after the ninth just gets more and more on your nerves.”
The Padres, who won 7-6 on Friday, have won five straight over the Dodgers this season and lead the season series 7-4.
San Diego is trying to match a season high with a fifth straight victory and notch its fifth sweep of Los Angeles in the last two years and second this season. San Diego swept three series last year between the clubs, including two at Dodger Stadium.
After each team used five relievers Saturday, both are going to need extended innings from their starters on Sunday.
The Padres will send Justin Germano (5-1, 2.67 ERA) to the mound in the finale. The 24-year-old right-hander won his first five decisions before going 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in his last two starts.
He allowed two runs and three hits in six innings on Monday against the San Francisco Giants in a 4-3, 11-inning loss.
Germano is 0-1 with a 17.18 ERA in one start and one relief appearance against Los Angeles. He has not faced the Dodgers since 2004.
Chad Billingsley (4-0, 4.01) will make his third start this season for the Dodgers, who moved him from the bullpen to the starting rotation to replace Jason Schmidt, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.
The 22-year-old right-hander has not received a decision in either start, although the Dodgers won both games. He allowed five runs and four hits—three homers—in four innings on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 6-5, 10-inning win.
“I left a lot of pitches over the middle, and you can’t do that,” Billingsley told the Dodgers’ official Web site.
Billingsley is 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA in three starts and three relief appearances against the Padres. He’s pitched 5 2-3 innings in three relief appearances against them this year, recording one win and posting a 3.18 ERA.