In a rotation filled with high-priced arms, Hyun-Jin Ryu has proven he belongs and will try to tie Zack Greinke for the team lead in wins Sunday as the Los Angeles Dodgers look to take the rubber match at the San Diego Padres. Nine players on the Dodgers' major league-high $238 million payroll make at least $10 million, with Greinke topping the list ($28 million). Ryu is the lone exception in the rotation, yet only seven other National Leaguers have as many victories as he does.
Los Angeles has been getting its money's worth from its starters lately, posting a 2.27 ERA during a 9-4 stretch in which the Dodgers have clipped five games off the 9 1/2-game deficit they faced June 7 in the NL West. Josh Beckett fired seven scoreless frames in Saturday's 4-2 victory, which kept the Padres from tying a season high with their fourth straight victory. Despite cobbling together a bit of offense during its three-game winning streak, San Diego has only managed 41 runs and a .172 team batting average in 19 June games - 16 runs and 52 batting-average points lower than the next-worst marks this month.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, SportsNet LA (Los Angeles), FSN San Diego
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Hyun-Jin Ryu (8-3, 3.18 ERA) vs. Padres RH Eric Stults (2-9, 5.76)
Ryu won for the fifth time in six starts since coming off the disabled list in late May, allowing a run on three hits over six frames in Monday's 6-1 home triumph over the Colorado Rockies. The South Korea native has done his best work on the road, however, going 5-1 with a 1.64 ERA in seven turns. Ryu settled for a no-decision versus the Padres in his second outing of the season Mach 30, allowing three hits and fanning seven over seven scoreless innings, and is 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA in two career starts against them.
A Dodger from 2006-09, Stults lost his sixth consecutive decision following Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners. The 34-year-old journeyman, who has not won since May 10 and and has given 15 home runs in 75 innings, surrendered four runs (three earned) and six hits over five frames to fall to 0-4 with a 8.35 ERA in four June outings. Stults hasn't enjoyed much success against the Dodgers, going 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA in five all-time starts.
1. The Dodgers, who are 23-15 on the road, have either won or split the last 10 series they have played in San Diego.
2. The Padres are a major league-best 15-7 in one-run games.
3. Los Angeles RHP Jamey Wright needs to work one-third of an inning to become the 17th active pitcher to reach 2,000 career innings.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 5, Padres 1