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Dodgers on Deck: September 11 vs. Padres

Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

The Dodgers return home for the briefest of homestands, playing just three games against the Padres, the last series the year between the two preseason National League contenders that saw their fortunes follow divergent paths.

San Diego entered Sunday at 67-76, firmly entrenched in fourth place in the division they were favored by some (including me!) to win. The Padres have been under .500 this season every day since May 12.

Clayton Kershaw was originally listed as the Dodgers starter in the opener, but the team changed plans, pushing him to Friday, Dave Roberts told reporters after Sunday’s game in Washington D.C.

Kershaw struggled through his start last Tuesday’s outing against the Marlins, with his fastball average just 88.4 mph, the second-lowest of his career. Also, his command was way off, walking five batters. Kershaw has just been so so since returning from the injured list with shoulder inflammation.

Kershaw insists he’s healthy, saying some version of “I feel fine” six times in two minutes with reporters in Miami after his start on Tuesday.

Since returning from the injured list, Kershaw has lasted exactly five innings four times, plus the rain-shortened two-inning game in Cleveland. Every start has been on five or six days rest.

Stone last pitched on September 3 for Oklahoma City, striking out seven in six scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and one walk.

Pedro Avila gets the start for the Padres. The right-hander has been a swingman this season for San Diego, alternating between bulk relief and starting, with a 2.19 ERA in 37 innings, with 38 strikeouts and 19 walks.

Avila has started his last three times out, and is coming off his best start, with 6⅔ scoreless innings last Tuesday against the Phillies.

Game info

  • Teams: Dodgers vs. Padres
  • Ballpark: Dodger Stadium
  • Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
  • TV: SportsNet LA
  • Radio: AM 570 (English); KTNQ 1020 (Spanish)