Preview: Dodgers (75-58) at Padres (65-69)
Venue: PETCO Park
Date: September 04, 2015 10:10 PM EDT
Although an outstanding pitching staff has them on top in the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t likely to reach their goals without assistance from the offense.
If his MLB debut is any indication, Corey Seager may be able to provide a much-needed lift.
Looking to build on his memorable opener, the 21-year-old will try to help the visiting Dodgers bounce back with their ninth win in 11 games Friday night against the San Diego Padres.
Los Angeles starters had posted a 1.60 ERA over a 10-game stretch heading into this four-game series at Petco Park, while the offense was averaging just 2.8 runs over the previous 15.
After getting recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to provide a spark, Seager did just that while starting for the slumping Jimmy Rollins in Thursday’s 10-7 loss. The highly touted prospect doubled in the fifth inning and added a two-run single to put the Dodgers ahead in a five-run sixth.
“It was really fun,’ Seager said. ‘It would have been nice to win but I still had fun in my first day.”
However, the club’s three-game winning streak ended when the bullpen failed to hold an eighth-inning lead and allowed an opponent to score five or more for the first time in 18 games.
The Dodgers (75-58) maintained a 6 1/2-game division lead with San Francisco’s loss, though they could have a tough time building on the offensive showing against James Shields. He’s has been very good at Petco, going 6-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 14 career starts.
Shields has alternated between good and bad outings in his past four outings overall. He was on the good side Sunday when he gave up one run over seven innings in a 9-4 win at Philadelphia.
The right-hander allowed one run over seven in a 4-2, 12-inning loss June 14 in his only home meeting with the Dodgers this season. He’s 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three matchups overall.
Andre Ethier (2 for 9), Chase Utley (2 for 9) and Carl Crawford (3 for 14) have struggled versus Shields (10-6, 3.78 ERA), but Ethier, Alex Guerrero and Adrian Gonzalez have homered off him.
After spending the past month at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Mike Bolsinger hopes to replicate the best performance of his career May 23 against the Padres (65-69). In that outing, he allowed one hit and struck out a career-high eight over eight innings in a 2-0 home win.
Manager Don Mattingly said the right-hander would be in the rotation for at least one turn.
Bolsinger (5-3, 2.83) has gone 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 10 2-3 innings in two career starts at Petco, including one last season while with Arizona. Justin Upton is 1 for 6 when facing Bolsinger this season, while Matt Kemp has gone 0 for 5 with two strikeouts.
Yangervis Solarte went 4 for 5 with his 12th home run Thursday, Upton and Derek Norris had three hits apiece and Jedd Gyorko homered as San Diego won for the ninth time in 13 home games.
Solarte is batting .452 with three home runs in his last eight home games, while Upton is batting .400 in his last six. Kemp has reached base in a career-high 23 straight games.
‘(Solarte) has been great for us this year,’ interim manager Pat Murphy said. ‘This kid has been as consistent as anyone on the team.”
The Padres have batted .316 while averaging 6.4 runs in their last 12 at Petco.