The Los Angeles Dodgers could have a tough assignment Tuesday night despite facing a team on a six-game slide and a pitcher who hasn’t won since mid-April.
The San Diego Padres’ Andrew Cashner is winless in his last 11 outings, but he has fared well in the past against the Dodgers as he tries to help his club snap its longest skid of the season.
Los Angeles (82-62) seeks a fifth straight win after opening this three-game home set with an 9-4 victory Monday. Clayton Kershaw became baseball’s first 18-game winner, Hanley Ramirez matched a season high with four hits and Yasiel Puig ended a 60 at-bat RBI drought.
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The Dodgers, who built an 8-1 lead after five innings, pushed their NL West lead over San Francisco to 3 1/2 games. They visit the Giants this weekend.
”It was a good night for us," Kershaw said. "There wasn’t a whole lot of stress because we got some runs early – and we haven’t had too many of those.”
Los Angeles improved to 11-6 against San Diego (66-77), which has won both starts by Cashner (2-7, 2.39 ERA) against the Dodgers this year.
The right-hander has yielded two runs over 12 innings with 13 strikeouts in those games, failing to get a decision both times. He has never beaten the Dodgers, going 0-1 in five starts despite a 1.06 ERA in those games.
Cashner has never yielded a home run to Los Angeles in 46 innings. He has limited Puig to one hit in 11 at-bats, Matt Kemp to one in 10 and Ramirez to three in 17.
Juan Uribe is 5 for 11 against Cashner and A.J. Ellis – a .186 hitter – is 4 for 7.
Cashner has received 12 runs of total support in his winless stretch. He missed over two months before returning Aug. 23 and going 0-1 with a 2.50 in his last three outings, capped by Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to Arizona in which he gave up four runs in seven innings.
It seems unlikely that San Diego will support Cashner much Tuesday since it has totaled 12 runs in this six-game slide.
Kemp is hitting .345 in a season-high 14-game hitting streak.
The Dodgers will start Roberto Hernandez (8-10, 4.00), who seeks to recover after giving up a season-high four homers and five runs overall in a 6-4 home loss to Washington on Sept. 1.
"It was just a matter of things not working for me," Hernandez said through a translator. "It wasn’t that I had lost confidence."
The veteran right-hander is facing the Padres for the second time this year after yielding four runs over five innings Aug. 20 in a 4-1 loss in his home debut with Los Angeles. Hernandez has an 8.78 ERA in three career starts at Dodger Stadium.
Seth Smith is 4 for 8 in his career versus Hernandez and Alexi Amarista is 3 for 4. Amarista, however, is hitless in his last 17 at-bats.