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Hyun-jin Ryu faces resurgent Padres offense in mound return

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Matt Kemp ad Wiil Myers have done quite will since June 1, leading a productive Padres offense.
Matt Kemp ad Wiil Myers have done quite will since June 1, leading a productive Padres offense.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers begin their four-game weekend series against the Padres on Thursday night, with Hyun-jin Ryu making his return to the mound in the series opener at Dodger Stadium.

Ryu last pitched in a major league game in Game 3 of the 2014 NLDS, and has missed the last year and a half after surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Ryu will face a tough test in his first game back, not only because of the time off, but because the Padres offense has averaged 5.72 runs per game since June 1.

San Diego has scored seven or more runs 12 times in that 32-game span, including 13 in a win in Arizona on Wednesday night.

Wil Myers was named National League Player of the Month for June after hitting .327/.429/.765 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI during the month. The first baseman has carried that over into July, going 10-for-23 (.435) with a home run, triple, double and nine runs scored in six games.

Myers is the Padres' only All-Star, though relief pitcher Fernando Rodney will also be at Petco Park in San Diego next Tuesday. Rodney made 28 of his 32 appearances this season for San Diego, but was traded to the Marlins on June 30.

Old friend Matt Kemp returns again to Dodger Stadium on a hot streak of his own, hitting .320/.355/.461 with nine doubles, three home runs and 25 RBI in 31 games since June 1.

Kemp is also in the midst of a weird season. He walked eight times, seven unintentionally in those 31 games, after just two unintentional walks and 50 strikeouts in his first 52 games of the season. Kemp on the season is hitting .263/.284/.464 with 16 home runs and 58 RBI.

He's on pace for 30 home runs and 111 RBI on the season, but since 1901 there have only been five 30/100 seasons with an on-base percentage under .300. The worst such OBP of those seasons was Tony Armas (.254) in 1983, and the latest such seasons came in 2013, with both Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez turning the trick.

Drew Pomeranz gets the call for the Padres. He allowed one run in seven innings in his one start against the Dodgers this season, on May 1 at Dodger Stadium, with five strikeouts and one walk. But he matched up with Clayton Kershaw that day and found himself with a tough-luck loss in a 1-0 Dodgers win.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network