The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their second half of their season tonight, welcoming back superstars Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier and taking on one of their favorite opponents; the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers currently hold a nine game winning streak against the Padres at Dodger Stadium. Since the first of May, 2011 the Dodgers have gone 17-4 against the Padres, including a 7-2 mark thus far this season.
The big news for the Dodgers is getting both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier back. They will hit third and fourth in tonight's lineup after completing their rehab assignments around the All Star break. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers optioned Elian Herrera and Scott Van Slyke.
Despite rumors that Bobby Abreu could bat leadoff for the Dodgers, he's not in tonight's lineup with Jerry Hariston Jr. batting first. The 36 year old has an on base percentage of .369 in 196 at bats. He'll be batting in front of Mark Ellis, and between the two of them Kemp and Ethier should have men on base to try and bring in.
They'll be facing Clayton Richards of the Padres, who was on the mound for both San Diego victories over the Dodgers this season. In 20 innings pitched he's allowed six earned runs, as has kept the Dodgers batting .167 in his three stars (on was a no decision).