(Sports Network) - Mat Latos attempts to win his seventh straight decision this evening, when the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers close out a three-game series at Petco Park.
Latos, who had recently been sidelined with a strained left oblique brought on by a sneeze, has won his last six decisions and is 11-4 with a 2.48 earned run average on the year. He returned from the disabled list to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, holding them to two runs and seven hits in six innings.
"I thought he threw the ball well from the first inning on," Padres manager Bud Black said of Latos in his return. "Hopefully he'll do what he's done all year."
Latos has allowed just three runs over his last five starts and has also allowed two runs or less in 13 of his last 14 outings. He lost to the Dodgers in his only career start against them, which took place last season.
San Diego evened this series at a game apiece on Wednesday, as Jerry Hairston Jr. drove in three runs and Clayton Richard was solid in six innings on the mound, helping the Padres to a 6-1 win.
Richard (8-5) gave up one run on four hits for the Padres, who bounced back from a 2-0 loss in the opener of this series. He also struck out six and walked one.
Chris Denorfia, Nick Hundley, and Adrian Gonzalez each had an RBI for NL West- leading San Diego, which has won four of five.
"We really don't put that much pressure on ourselves," Hairston said. "We just got out and have fun. Maybe this team doesn't know any better, but that's a good thing."
Jamey Carroll knocked in the lone run for the Dodgers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Hiroki Kuroda (8-9) went six-plus frames in the start, giving up three runs on four hits to take the loss. He also fanned five batters and walked two.
"He had good stuff today. We just couldn't get a win for him," Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said of Kuroda afterward.
Getting the call for the Dodgers tonight will be righty Vicente Padilla, who is 4-3 with a 3.41 ERA. Padilla did not get a decision on Friday against the New York Mets, but allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits in seven innings of his team's 6-1 loss.
Padilla has faced the Padres 16 times (seven starts) and is 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA.
Los Angeles has won five of seven over the Padres this year, including a three-game sweep at Petco Park from May 14-16.