Dodgers-Padres Preview


It's been 13 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to win their first three games in a season.

They're getting plenty of cooperation from the San Diego Padres.

The Dodgers look to continue their dominance of the Padres in the continuation of this series at Petco Park on Saturday night.

Los Angeles (2-0) is in position to open a season with three wins in a row for the first time since 1999. The club easily beat San Diego 6-0 on Friday after starting this four-game set with a 5-3 victory a day prior.

The Dodgers have received some help from the Padres (0-2), who have totaled five errors while mustering just eight hits.

While struggles at the plate aren't new to San Diego, the issues in the field are. The Padres were among the NL leaders in 2011 with a .985 fielding percentage. They were also last in the league with a .237 average and their 91 homers were the fewest in the majors.

The Dodgers have capitalized on that anemic offense while winning 12 of 14 against the Padres, holding them to .173 hitting in that stretch while the staff has compiled a 1.52 ERA.

That trend continued Friday, as Chad Billingsley tossed a gem by yielding three hits with 11 strikeouts while coming two outs shy of a complete game. He got plenty of support from Andre Ethier alone, as the right fielder drove in four runs with two hits - a double and a triple.

"Bills, obviously right out of the gate, was really good," manager Don Mattingly said. "Andre gets us going with two in the first off a lefty (Cory Luebke). Really, both of those guys kind of set the tone for us."

Ethier is hitting .391 with four homers and 17 RBIs in his last 19 games versus San Diego.

The Dodgers next give the ball to Chris Capuano, who is in the rotation while Ted Lilly starts 2012 on the disabled list due to recurring neck stiffness.

Capuano signed a two-year deal with Los Angeles after going 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA for the New York Mets last year.

The left-hander is 4-2 with a 3.65 ERA in eight games - seven starts - against the Padres, losing his only two games in San Diego. He hasn't made an appearance there since a loss with Milwaukee on May 10, 2006.

Capuano had a strong spring with a 2.75 ERA and a team-leading 22 strikeouts in 19 2-3 innings, holding opponents to a .197 average.

Dustin Moseley is scheduled to take the mound for the Padres for the first time since undergoing surgery on his left shoulder. The right-hander struggled with the injury at times last season, and was unable to continue after aggravating it while batting in a loss to Arizona on July 26.

Moseley's first season with San Diego ended with a personal-best 3.30 ERA, but meager run support in his 20 starts meant he only had a 3-10 record to show for it. He began the 2011 season with an 0-3 record and 1.40 ERA while the offense failed to give him a run in his first four starts.

That included a 4-0 loss to the Dodgers at Petco on April 9, when Moseley yielded three runs - two earned - in six innings.

Cameron Maybin has been a rare offensive bright spot for the Padres this season, getting three hits - including a two-run homer. The center fielder is 2 for 6 off Capuano.

The Padres haven't started a season 0-3 since 2003.