With a victory in the series finale against the visiting San Diego Padres, the Dodgers can post the first 10-0 home start in the franchise’s 126-year history.
“I want to make it 10-0. You get greedy when you play well and get results,” Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. “Every time we go on the field, we want to win. And whatever that number is, it is. Hopefully we can extend this thing. We’re feeling pretty good about ourselves right now.”
Los Angeles (17-8) tied the 1946 Brooklyn club’s mark with another one-run victory Saturday night. In the 2-1 win, Andre Ethier singled home Rafael Furcal with the bases loaded in the 10th inning - a night after the Dodgers won 1-0 on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth.
Ethier finished with two singles for his 12th multihit performance this season, and Russell Martin snapped an 2-for-23 slump with a season-high three hits.
To try and enter the record books, the Dodgers turn to Billingsley (4-0, 2.14 ERA), who appears to have emerged as the staff ace after the losses of Derek Lowe and Brad Penny to free agency. The right-hander opened his fourth season with a win in San Diego on April 8, giving up two runs over six innings in the 5-2 triumph.
He had victories in his first four starts before Tuesday’s game in San Francisco. Billingsley struck out eight and allowed two earned runs in 7 1-3 innings, but Jonathan Broxton failed to keep a one-run lead for his only blown save in eight chances in 2009. The Dodgers scored twice in the ninth for a 5-3 win.
On Sunday, Los Angeles will face Chad Gaudin (0-0, 0.00). Making his first start in nearly a year, the right-hander pitched five scoreless innings in the Padres’ 4-3 win over Colorado on Tuesday.
After he was traded from Oakland to the Chicago Cubs with Rich Harden on July 8, Gaudin was used as a reliever, but the Cubs released him after the season. He signed a minor league contract with San Diego (11-13) last month.
Gaudin has never started against the Dodgers but made one relief appearance for Oakland during interleague play in 2006, allowing one run in one inning.
He could use a better output from the Padres’ offense, which has scored six runs in the series and tied a season-low with three hits Saturday. They are hitting .135 (7-for-52) with runners in scoring position in seven meetings with the Dodgers this season.
“It seems like when we hit, we don’t seem to pitch well,” Saturday’s starter Chris Young said. “When we pitch well, we don’t seem to score enough runs.”
While attempting to break a four-game losing streak, San Diego (11-13) will also try to avoid being swept in a four-game series in Los Angeles for the first time.