|1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, July 7, 2019
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 44,171
Padres look to hand Dodgers third straight home loss
The Los Angeles Dodgers will close out one of the best first halves in franchise history Sunday against the San Diego Padres with plenty of reasons to believe that the second half can be even better.
The Dodgers have three All-Stars in their starting rotation in Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, who will sit back and watch right-hander Ross Stripling (3-2, 3.45 ERA) pitch in the first-half sendoff. The Padres will send left-hander Joey Lucchesi (6-4, 3.91) to the mound.
At 60-31, even after two consecutive defeats to the Padres, the 2019 Dodgers are the fourth team in franchise history to reach at least 60 victories before the All-Star break, and the 15th in major league history.
Los Angeles' 14 1/2-game lead in the National League West would be the third biggest at the break behind the 2001 Seattle Mariners (19 games) and the 2007 Houston Astros (16 1/2).
So how can the Dodgers dare think things can be even better?
The Dodgers expect to be playing their last game with shortstop Corey Seager (hamstring), center fielder A.J. Pollock (infection) and key backup infielder David Freese (hamstring) on the disabled list. All are expected to be ready to play when the second half opens Friday.
The Dodgers still have delivered plenty of offense, although after five consecutive walk-off victories at home, they have scored three combined runs in back-to-back defeats to the Padres.
"I definitely don't think we're flat," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "You have to give the credit to the other guys over there when they do pitch well. I do think collectively we can do a better job of putting together at-bats. But there will be games where you don't score runs. That's just baseball. We will reset and be ready to go again (Sunday)."
Stripling has helped the Dodgers overcome injuries to the rotation and is getting a chance to start again with Rich Hill's forearm strain. Los Angeles has won both of Stripling's starts since he returned to a starting role. He is 4-4 lifetime against the Padres in 13 appearances (five starts) with a 2.61 ERA.
The Padres will try to hand the Dodgers their first three-game home losing streak of the season behind Lucchesi. He is 0-3 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 7.64 ERA in four starts. He does have some momentum with a 3.38 ERA in 10 starts since the beginning of May.
The Padres have their own collective momentum after a 3-2 victory Friday and a 3-1 decision Saturday. Not only did Hunter Renfroe hit a go-ahead home run in the late innings of each game, but All-Star closer Kirby Yates earned the save both days.
Yates had a five-out save Friday and a three-out save Saturday. It was no small feat since the Dodgers had five consecutive walk-off victories at home before Yates figured out how to disarm the team's super powers.
"It's been unbelievable watching what he's been doing this year," Padres third baseman Manny Machado said of Yates, according to mlb.com. "(An All-Star spot) is well deserved."
Yates' 29 saves before the All-Star break is the most in Padres history and he has one more game to make it 30. His only two defeats this season are to the Dodgers in early May.
--Field Level Media
Updated July 7, 2019