(AP) — The San Diego Padres have never lost a start by Clayton Richard against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Richard will try to improve to 5-0 in his career against the Dodgers on Friday night when the Padres open a weekend series at home.
San Diego (3-2) has won all five games against Los Angeles started by Richard (1-0, 4.50 ERA), who is 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA in those outings. He went 3-0 with a 2.21 ERA in three 2010 starts against them, scattering eight hits in his lone career shutout – a 6-0 victory Sept. 21.
Richard went 0-3 with a 3.65 ERA in his final four starts last season after going 10-3 with a 2.69 ERA in his first 19 at Petco Park. He won his season debut last Saturday at St. Louis by allowing three runs over six innings in an 11-3 win.
The Dodgers (3-3) have won both games this season when they have faced a left-hander. They arrive in San Diego after being swept in a two-game set at Colorado.
Rafael Furcal went 1 for 8 in the series, James Loney was 2 for 8 and Matt Kemp was 1 for 7. The Dodgers struck out 14 times and drew five walks.
“Going into San Diego, we’ve got to forget about today,” said Furcal after Wednesday’s 7-5 loss. “We lost already. We’ve got to keep our heads up and try to play a little better.”
San Diego went 10-8 against Los Angeles last season, winning the last five meetings at Petco. Numerous Dodgers struggled at the spacious park, including Furcal (.217), Loney (.156), Andre Ethier (.238) and Casey Blake (.080).
One Los Angeles hitter who will be very familiar with his surroundings is former Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., 2 for 10 in his first five games with the Dodgers. Gwynn wants to prove his former team was wrong to not offer him a contract in the offseason.
“It bothered me a lot,” he told the Dodgers’ official website. “But at the end of the day, you look at the circumstances. I didn’t do my part. I didn’t play well. That left the door open for those things to happen.”
Los Angeles will also be sending a southpaw to the mound in Ted Lilly (0-1, 7.71), who is 6-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 10 career starts against San Diego. Lilly went 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA in two outings against the Padres last season.
Lilly closed 2010 by pitching at least seven innings in his final three outings, but began the new season by lasting 4 2-3 and yielding four runs in a 10-0 loss to San Francisco on Saturday.
That wasn’t the type of outing expected from a veteran who was rewarded with a $33 million, three-year contract in October.
“I put pressure on myself every day, every time I go out there, to get it done,” Lilly said. “I’m fortunate to have a great job like this, and I guess the pressure I feel is just the pressure of us trying to win the National League pennant.”
The Padres’ Ryan Ludwick is 5 for 32 against Lilly while Nick Hundley is hitless in 11 at-bats.
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