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Game 63 Preview: 06/12 Padres vs. Dodgers

Once again, the Padres find themselves trying to avoid dipping below .500 on the season.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a split in Atlanta, the Padres are back home tonight to host the Dodgers at Petco Park.  Over their first nine meetings this season, the Padres are 3-6 against the NL West leaders and come into this series five games back in the standings, but hopefully they'll be able to make up some ground during this three-game set.

With Brandon Morrow still out, Odrisamer Despaigne will get the call in the series opener.  He's 0-2 with a 5.84 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) against the Dodgers.  Earlier this season he pitched a scoreless inning of relief against L.A.  Despaigne is coming off a start in which he threw six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits for his fourth loss of the season. One outing prior to that, he earned his third win of the season when he pitched a Padres-leading, season-high eight innings while allowing only one run, on a solo homer.

But the Padres will have their work cut out for them as they try to give Despaigne some run support to work with. Tonight they'll face the reigning NL MVP and 2011 SB Nation Cy Young Award Co-Winner, Clayton Kershaw, who has not only had the Padres number for most of his career, but has been on fire lately.  Kershaw is 12-6 with a 2.33 ERA in his 25 career outings against San Diego. He did struggle relatively in his one start against them so far this season, giving up three earned runs on six hits through six innings of work on Opening Day, getting the no-decision.

Kershaw was solid, though not in peak form, through the first couple months of the season until three starts ago when he really started to heat up. Over his last three starts, he's kept opponents to two runs on ten hits and three walks through 22 combined innings. He also collected 28 strikeouts in that span.

Here's how the boys will line up against the lefty:

Game time: 7:10 pm PT
TV: FSSD, Fox Deportes San Diego (Sp.)
Radio: The Mighty 1090, XEMO 860 (Sp.)