A pair of rookies are adding pop to a Los Angeles Dodgers lineup that has been all over San Diego pitching this week.
Corey Seager and Scott Schebler have fit into a suddenly hot Los Angeles offense through the first two games of a four-game series against the Padres, which continues Saturday night at Petco Park.
The Dodgers (76-58) combined for 19 hits and 15 runs in the opening two games compared to the 27 hits and nine runs they totaled in their previous four.
The 21-year-old Seager, baseball’s No. 2 prospect according to MLB, had two hits and two RBIs in his debut, a 10-7 loss Thursday night, and two more hits and an RBI in Friday’s 8-4 victory.
Schebler also had two hits and belted his first home run in the second game, helping Los Angeles move 7 1/2 ahead of slumping San Francisco in the NL West. Four other Dodgers went deep, giving the team an NL-high 162 homers.
”We kind of said we weren’t a home run hitting club and we continue to hit them,” manager Don Mattingly said.
The Dodgers pushed back their entire rotation this week, meaning Alex Wood (9-9, 3.67 ERA) will pitch on six days’ rest.
Wood has been better in his last two starts than his first four since coming over in a trade from Atlanta on July 30, giving up three runs in 11 2-3 innings compared to 13 runs through 23 1-3.
The left-hander fell on the wrong side of Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, getting lost in the storyline despite allowing two runs in six innings while striking out seven. Wood retired 10 of the final 11 hitters he faced.
He made one start against the Padres with Atlanta, a 5-2 loss July 25, 2014, in which they pounded him for 12 hits and five runs in five innings.
Tyson Ross, meanwhile, has made seven starts against the Dodgers the last three years.
Ross (10-9, 3.27) has a 2.53 ERA against Los Angeles, but he has nothing to show for it with an 0-4 record.
The right-hander faced the Dodgers once this year but didn’t factor into the decision of a 7-3 win April 7. He held Los Angeles to two runs in six innings.
The Padres (65-70) have built a 6-1 record with Ross on the mound since July 29. Ross is 4-1 with a 2.76 ERA in that span and will look to build on one of his most complete starts of the year.
During a 7-0 win Monday, he held Texas to three hits in seven innings. Ross added an RBI single and is hitting .400 in his last seven starts.
The rest of the San Diego lineup has backed Ross in that time, supplying him with a run support average of 8.29, tied for third best in the NL and more than double his 4.11 mark through his first 21 starts.
”Support is always key,” Ross said. ”I was just going out there trying to put up zeroes, and when we score like that it kind of takes a little bit of pressure off me.”
Carl Crawford, who homered Friday, is 8 for 15 against Ross with three doubles and four walks.
Mattingly said Friday it might be tough for Yasiel Puig to return from his strained right hamstring by the end of the regular season.