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Preview: Dodgers Offense In Prime Position For Big Night Vs. Padres



Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers snapped both their scoreless streak that reached 35 innings and three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres and now look to win their 12 home series in the last 13 tries. Dating back to 2014 the Dodgers are 10-0-1 in 11 home series, which is the longest active streak in the Majors.

Additionally, they’re 5-2 against the Padres this season, including 3-1 at home, and boast the Majors’ best home winning percentage at .783 (18-5). The Dodgers won their previous two series against the Padres this season and have won six consecutive series over their division opponent from San Diego.

Tasked with following up Zack Greinke’s dominant outing is Mike Bolsinger, who makes his fourth start with the Dodgers. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed one run in two of his previous three outings and is 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.

Bolsinger credited some of his success to changing his warm-up routine, which now is composed of him essentially throwing the first-inning game plan in the bullpen. His emergence has been key in the Dodgers’ efforts to stabilize a rotation that’s now without Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu for the remainder of the season.

Starting opposite Bolsinger is familiar foe Ian Kennedy. The veteran right-hander is 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA this season and 5-8 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 4.58 ERA. He allowed eight runs and three home runs in 4.1 innings when he last faced Los Angeles April 25 at Petco Park.

Also not in Kennedy’s favor is he’s largely struggled at Dodger Stadium over his career, going 2-4 in nine starts, including 0-2 last season. Moreover, Kennedy has not picked up a win over the Dodgers since September 2012, going 0-6 with a 5.74 ERA over 10 starts in that stretch.

While the University of Southern California product will face an offense that’s largely struggled, the Dodgers’ lineup is made up of players who have enjoyed success against Kennedy in their respective careers. Andre Ethier is a lifetime .361 batter (13-for-36) against Kennedy and has three home runs, three doubles and seven RBIs.

Albeit in a smaller sample size, Howie Kendrick has also done well, batting .375 (3-for-8) with one home run, a double and three RBIs. Justin Turner is a career .545 (6-for-11) hitter with three doubles and two RBIs against the Padres’ starter. Meanwhile Adrian Gonzalez has hit well against his former team no matter the pitcher.

The All-Star first baseman has a career slash line of .336/.361/.592 (71-for-211) with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs against San Diego. Gonzalez has feasted on San Diego pitching this season, batting .500/.517/1.250 (14-for-28) with six home runs, three doubles and 10 RBIs in seven games. He enters Saturday’s game two RBIs shy of 1,000 in his career.

Despite their recent offensive drought, the Dodgers still lead the Majors in walks (161) and slugging percentage (.453); they lead the NL in home runs (55) and on-base percentage (.343). With Yasmani Grandal getting placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list, A.J. Ellis gets the start at catcher.

Granted, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Friday it was a predetermined start for Ellis and not one as a result of Grandal being removed in the fifth inning of the series opener. Austin Barnes joined the club from Triple-A Oklahoma City to serve as the backup catcher. KikΓ© Hernandez was named the emergency catcher.

Dodgers Lineup:

CF: Joc Pederson

SS: Jimmy Rollins

2B: Howie Kendrick

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

3B: Justin Turner

RF: Andre Ethier

LF: Scott Van Slyke

C: A.J. Ellis

P: Mike Bolsinger

Padres Lineup:

1B: Yangervis Solarte

3B: Cory Spangenberg

RF: Matt Kemp

LF: Justin Upton

CF: Will Venable

2B: Jedd Gyorko

SS: Will Middlebrooks

C: Austin Hedges

P: Ian Kennedy

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Mike Bolsinger On Pitching With The Dodgers


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Written by Staff Writer

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