LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will try to snap a two-game losing streak as they open a four-game weekend series against the Padres, but most of the focus on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium will be on Clayton Kershaw and his 36-inning scoreless streak.
Kershaw is 9-6 with a 2.47 ERA in 21 career starts against the Padres, though since his career ERA is a scant 2.55 it is just normal. The left-hander hasn't faced the historically bad offense of the 2014 Padres, but in his last start against San Diego, last Sept. 21, Kershaw did pitch seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts.
The Dodgers ace has won his last seven starts and with a win on Thursday would be the first Dodgers pitcher to win eight straight starts since Bob Welch in 1985.
But about that scoreless streak:
- During the 36 innings, Kershaw has five walks and 45 strikeouts.
- Opposing hitters have 16 hits - 13 singles and three doubles - and are hitting .130/.164/.154.
- Left-handers have fared better against Kershaw during the streak, 6-for-27 with a double, two walks and nine strikeouts (.222/.276/.259).
- Right-handers are 10-for-96 with two doubles, three walks and 36 strikeouts (.104/.131/.125).
- Exactly half - 18 of 36 - of the innings have been 1-2-3 innings.
- In just four of the 36 innings, two runners have reached base.
The Dodgers have played 43 games this season against the National League West, and have won four of six games against San Diego, but Thursday marks the Padres' first trip to Los Angeles in 2014.
San Diego will start 27-year-old Cuban free agent signee Odrisamer Despaigne, who has allowed no more than one run in any of his three major league starts. He also has eight walks and just five strikeouts in 19⅔ innings.
The Padres have been shutout 12 times in 2014, tied with the Rays for the most in baseball.
San Diego has scored one or zero run 29 times this year, five more times than any other team.
The Padres has scored two or fewer runs 46 times, nine more than any other team in baseball.
San Diego has scored three or fewer runs 23 times in their last 31 games.
Chris Denorfia is 9-for-29 (.310) with three home runs against Kershaw, one of only two batters with more than two home runs against Kershaw (joining the left-handed Adam Dunn, who has four home runs in 14 plate appearances against Kershaw).
Denorfia, a career .304/.370/.450 hitter against southpaws, is hitting just .274/.329/.370 with no home runs in 79 PA against lefties this season, but also hitting .187/.260/.231 overall in his last 39 games (cherry-picking to be sure, as Denorfia was also 6-for-14 with a double and a walk at Coors Field this week).
Kershaw at home has 62 strikeouts and four walks in six starts and 45 innings this season.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA