Billingsley looks to extend the longest active scoreless innings streak in the majors Thursday night at Dodger Stadium in the finale of a four-game set.
While San Diego (62-44) continues to surprise with the best record in the NL, it hasn’t done much at the plate in losing seven of 11 meetings with Los Angeles (56-52). The Padres have scored three runs or fewer eight times, and three of their six shutouts have been at the hands of the Dodgers.
The Padres used a 14-hit attack to win 10-5 in Monday’s opener, and got a solo homer from Miguel Tejada(notes) in the first inning of Tuesday’s 2-1 loss. San Diego has no runs and three singles in 17 innings since.
It should be tough to break out against Billingsley (9-5, 3.78 ERA), who hasn’t allowed a run over his last 21 2-3 innings.
“I kept the same mentality as I’ve been. We didn’t have anybody slotted in there so I told Joe (manager Joe Torre), ‘I’m ready,’” Billingsley said.
Billingsley has limited the Padres to seven hits in 45 at-bats over 13 1-3 scoreless innings in beating them twice this year. He’s 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last eight outings against San Diego.
The Dodgers could use another big effort from Billingsley given the state of their lineup. Catcher Russell Martin(notes) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday for the first time in his career because of a hip injury sustained in Tuesday’s victory.
“The fact that he’s going to be on crutches for a while, certainly you know we’re in it for the long haul. It’s far beyond the two-week disabled list at this point in time,” Torre said. “The most important thing is not necessarily getting him back, but that he gets better.”
Los Angeles should have a favorable matchup against Kevin Correia(notes) (7-7, 5.06), who is 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers this year. Infielder Jamey Carroll(notes) went 4 for 4 with three RBIs against him in those games.
Correia gave up three runs over six innings Saturday at Florida in a 6-3 loss - his first in five outings. The right-hander had been 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA in his previous four.
San Diego remained one game ahead of San Francisco for the NL West lead.