The Padres will send Tyson Ross to the mound tonight to go for the sweep at Dodger Stadium. Ross gave up three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings at Petco Park last Friday against the Rockies. After allowing six straight baserunners to begin the game, he settled down and retired the next 12 in order, but it wasn't enough to overcome his shaky start and the Padres' lack of offense. He struck out eight batters in the process, tying a career high, but didn't factor into the decision. Tonight will be Ross' debut against the Dodgers, who have dropped the first two games of the series and three of five to the Padres so far this season.
There's a good chance Chase Headley will make his 2013 regular season debut tonight after rehabbing from a fractured thumb sustained in Spring Training. He made his final rehab start with Lake Elsinore last night and went 1-for-3. Over his four-game stint with the Storm, he went 3-for-12. It's hard to expect him to come right out of the gate with an offensive explosion, but luckily his teammates have been making their own fireworks lately.
Chris Denorfia has hit safely in 11 of the 13 games he's appeared in this season, with three of them being multi-hit games, including his 3-for-6 campaign last night. In each of the two games in which he didn't record a hit, he reached base via walks. Yonder Alonso has hit safely in 11 of his 14 appearances this season and is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak after going 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI last night. Nick Hundley also had a double and 2 RBI last night as he went 2-for-3 in his fifth multi-hit game of the season. And Kyle Blanks has gone 3-for-8 in his two starts since the Padres called him up from Tucson on Sunday.
All that said, however, our offense will be facing one of its toughest opponents tonight as the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound to try to prevent the sweep. Kershaw is 36-17 with a 2.29 ERA and 1.075 WHIP in 81 starts at home. He is 8-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 17 career games against the Padres, who have only hit a lifetime .214 against him. The lefty is already 2-1 this season, although his sole loss was more a result of a lack of run support than a bad pitching performance. He gave up three runs over 7 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field and the Dodgers put up a goose egg to tag Kershaw with the loss. In the two starts prior to that, Kershaw collected a combined 16 strikeouts over 16 scoreless innings of work. He is one away from hitting 1,000 career strikeouts, and if he gets it tonight he would set a new franchise record for the quickest Dodger pitcher to reach the mark (Sandy Koufax currently holds the record at just over 989 innings while Kershaw is at 967 innings as of now).