Following a convincing victory in the opener, the Padres look to win their sixth straight over the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
San Diego (84-66) defeated Los Angeles 6-0 on Tuesday to remain one-half game back of NL West-leading San Francisco, which beat the Chicago Cubs. Although the Padres, who finish the regular season with three games in San Francisco, didn’t gain any ground in the division race, they pulled within one game of NL wild card-leading Atlanta.
“We’re all acutely aware of what’s going on,” manager Bud Black said. “It’s a great race.”
The Dodgers (73-78), meanwhile, lost for the 16th time in 22 games Tuesday and were officially eliminated from the playoffs.
“We didn’t play well enough to be in a pennant race,” said manager Joe Torre, who saw his streak of 14 consecutive playoff appearances come to an end.
Although the Padres are in the thick of the playoff race, trailing in the division race is a little disappointing, considering they had a 6 1/2-game lead Aug. 25. Games against the Dodgers have been one of the few positives for San Diego over the past four weeks.
Since Aug. 26, the Padres are 4-0 against Los Angeles, but 4-17 against everybody else. They’ve outscored the Dodgers 21-3 in winning the last five meetings and have won eight of 10 against their division rival.
San Diego hasn’t won six straight over Los Angeles since 2006.
Despite some of the Padres’ recent struggles, Ludwick is hitting .317 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 12 games.
“Things are starting to roll a little bit,” he said.
After dominating for much of this season out of the bullpen, Stauffer made a spot start for San Diego against the Dodgers on Sept. 6 and allowed one run and four hits in four innings.
The Padres have made Stauffer a permanent part of the rotation, and he was cruising in St. Louis on Thursday, yielding a run and four hits through five innings. Things fell apart for the right-hander in the sixth, however, as he walked two, allowed two hits and was removed before recording an out. He ended up getting charged for all of the Cardinals’ runs in a 4-0 loss.
Stauffer hopes to bounce back against a Dodgers team that has scored two runs or fewer in 10 of its last 15 games.
Lilly is 0-3 with a 7.97 ERA in his last four starts after posting a 1.83 ERA in winning his first five with Los Angeles. In Thursday’s 10-2 loss to San Francisco, the left-hander was tagged for six runs and seven hits - including two homers - in a season-low 3 1-3 innings.
“With him, it’s got to be location,” Torre told the Dodgers’ official website. “When he’s up (in the zone), it sits there for them. The last couple times he hasn’t hit his spots.”
Lilly had no trouble in his Los Angeles debut against the Padres on Aug. 3, allowing one run and two hits in seven innings of a 2-1 victory.