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Mon, Apr 15, 2013 - 10:10 PM ET
 

Padres-Dodgers Preview

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Tempers flared the last time the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres met, boiling over in a bench-clearing altercation. Whether the two squads will be able to keep their cool remains to be seen as they meet again in Monday night's opener of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles (7-5) took two of three from San Diego last week, including a 3-2 victory Thursday that included a confrontation between Zack Greinke and Carlos Quentin in the sixth inning.

Quentin was hit in the arm by a pitch from Greinke, prompting him to charge the mound. Both lowered their shoulders before colliding, resulting in a broken collarbone for Greinke and ultimately an eight-game suspension for Quentin. The two were also ejected along with the Dodgers' Jerry Hairston Jr. and Matt Kemp.

Quentin initially appealed the suspension but dropped it Sunday, though he said he still felt his actions were justified as he had been hit twice in previous games by Greinke.

"It's very difficult," Quentin said. "It's unfortunate that someone got hurt in this instance. But I do believe that I had to protect myself, and I will stand by that statement and at the same time I will begin my suspension."

Possible retaliation for the Dodgers may be in the hands of Chad Billingsley, who will start his second straight game against the Padres (2-10). Billingsley, who gave up one run on five hits over six innings in a win at San Diego last Wednesday, indicated that the teams' last matchup would have no effect on him pitching inside.

"I've still got to go out and pitch. Commanding the inside part of the plate, you can't be one-dimensional," Billingsley told the team's official website. "If they issue a warning and a ball gets away and you hit a guy, hopefully the umpires know it's not on purpose. It could be a two-seamer or a breaking ball that slips. You've still got to be able to pitch inside in this game."

The right-hander will also be looking to continue the excellent work Dodgers starters have provided thus far, as they've recorded a 2.17 ERA and held opponents to a .216 average. Josh Beckett went 8 1-3 innings before giving up the winning single to Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt in a 1-0 loss on Sunday.

Opposing Billingsley again will be lefty Eric Stults, who would like to fare better than he did Wednesday. Stults yielded four runs on eight hits in five innings, including home runs to Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis.

San Diego has lost five in a row and is tied with Miami for the majors' worst record, so it's understandable that manager Bud Black appears to have more on his mind than worrying about a carryover from last week's events.

The Padres had two hits in a 2-1 home loss to the Rockies on Sunday.

"I think the underlying thing was let's get this behind us," Black said. "Let's start playing baseball. Let's get this distraction away from our club as quickly as possible. That's something that's been talked about for the last four days."

Los Angeles' Adrian Gonzalez has put together back-to-back three-hit games, while Kemp continues to struggle, going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in Sunday's defeat.

Tagged: Dodgers, Padres, Zack Greinke, Carlos Quentin, Chad Billingsley

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