Los Angeles Dodgers (76-60) at San Diego Padres (64-70)
Sunday, August 31 - 4:10 PM EST
Petco Park, San Diego, California
The Los Angeles Dodgers are nearing a return to full health, but their offense remains on life support heading into Sunday’s series finale against the host San Diego Padres. While the Dodgers have scored a total of six runs in their last three games, the Padres have won four in a row, including three straight walk-off victories. Outfielder Yasiel Puig is mired in a 1-for-24 slump for Los Angeles, which has seen its lead over San Francisco in the National League West cut to 2 1/2 games.
Justin Turner is hitting .369 since the All-Star break, but he’ll go back to being the team’s top utilityman as soon as Juan Uribe (hamstring) returns from the disabled list Sunday or Monday. Turner has served as the Dodgers’ regular third baseman during the past 12 games, but Uribe is hitting .293 in 81 games and manager Don Mattingly likes the veteran’s presence in the lineup. San Diego is going with Kevin Quackenbush in place of closer Joaquin Benoit, who is expected to miss the next few days with right shoulder discomfort.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, SportsNet LA (Los Angeles), FSN San Diego
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-6, 3.28 ERA) vs. Padres LH Eric Stults (6-14, 4.63)
Ryu is making his first start since landing on the disabled list with a strained right glute muscle Aug. 14. The Dodgers were eager to get the 27-year-old back in time to face the Padres, who have scored one run in three starts covering 19 innings against Ryu this season. The South Korean has won four of his last six starts and posted a 2.29 ERA in his first three outings this month.
Stults had his three-game winning streak come to an end Monday as he allowed four runs in five innings against Milwaukee. The 34-year-old was drafted by Los Angeles in 2002 and pitched for the Dodgers from 2006-09. Stults owns a 2-4 mark and 3.70 ERA in seven career starts against his former team, including 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two outings this season.
1. Nine of the 15 games between the Dodgers and Padres this season have been decided by one run.
2. The Dodgers boast a major league-best 42-28 road record.
3. San Diego placed INF Chris Nelson on the paternity list and recalled RHP Jesse Hahn from Double-A San Antonio.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 4, Padres 1