With their offense scuffling, the Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed their first off day in 2 1/2 weeks.
The Dodgers hope to come back rejuvenated as they try to continue their home dominance over the San Diego Padres in the opener of a two-game series Tuesday night.
Los Angeles (39-20), owners of baseball’s best record, leads the NL in runs (305), batting average (.280) and is tied with the New York Mets for first in on-base percentage (.360), but has totaled just 10 runs in its last five games.
The Dodgers left eight runners on base in Sunday’s 7-2 loss to Philadelphia and are batting .152 (5 for 33) with runners in scoring position in their last five.
“We’ll be fine. We’re going to score runs,” Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. “With so many questions being asked about it, I think everyone is self-conscious about it and trying too hard. Hopefully, we come back Tuesday after a breather (Monday) and start swinging the bats a little better.”
Monday’s off day was the Dodgers’ first since May 21.
A stretch of 17 consecutive days with games appeared to take its toll on Matt Kemp(notes). The Dodgers center fielder is 5 for 20 with one run and one RBI in his last six games after hitting .476 (10 for 21) with two homers, two RBIs and four runs in his previous six.
“We play 162 games,” Kemp told the Dodgers’ official Web site. “Just to get a day off and let your body rest. Just get your mind out of baseball for a day or two is good and come back be ready, fresh.”
The Dodgers are also hoping a home series versus San Diego (27-30) can help them get back on track.
Los Angeles swept a four-game series from the Padres from April 30-May 3 at Dodger Stadium and has won nine of the last 10 meetings there.
Scheduled starter Chad Billingsley(notes) (7-3, 2.59 ERA) has won his first two starts of the season over San Diego, yielding four runs while striking out 12 over 13 innings. He is 6-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 career starts versus the Padres and 4-1 with a 1.45 ERA in five home outings since 2007.
On Wednesday, Billingsley gave up four hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in six innings of a 1-0 win over Arizona. The right-hander has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his 12 starts and is fifth in the league in ERA and strikeouts (85).
“I just try to get deep into the game, try to throw up zeros and give the team a chance to win. That’s how I approach every single start,” Billingsley said.
The Padres arrive in Los Angeles following Monday’s 6-3 win over Arizona, their second victory in seven games.
The Padres have scored six runs in each of their last three games and Chris Young (4-4, 4.46) hopes to receive similar run support.
Young has allowed three runs in each of his last two starts, but has been saddled with losses in both as he’s been backed by no runs of support. On Wednesday, the right-hander gave up three runs and five hits in six innings in a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia.
Young, who is trying to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time since Aug. 30-Sept. 9, 2007, is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two outings against the Dodgers this season.