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Dodgers Send Padilla To Hill For Third Game Against Braves

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers will attempt to fulfill a goal they haven't accomplished in well over a month when the team continues a four-game series with the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves today at Turner Field.

Los Angeles hasn't won back-to-back games on the road since coming through with consecutive victories at Arizona on July 2-3. The Dodgers will have a chance to end that lingering drought this afternoon after defeating the Braves by a 2-1 count on Saturday.

Ted Lilly continued his excellent pitching in a Dodgers uniform by delivering six shutout innings in last night's triumph, while teammate Andre Ethier knocked in a critical run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh. Scott Podsednik went 3-for-5 with a run scored to help Los Angeles snap a three-game slide that included a 1-0 loss to Atlanta on Friday.

Lilly (6-8), acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the July 31 trade deadline, gave up just three hits and walked two to win his third straight start since the swap. The left-hander has allowed just four runs in 19 innings as a Dodger.

"(Lilly) is fun to play behind," Podsednik said afterward. "Grinds it out. He's not afraid and goes right after hitters. He was sharp tonight."

Podsednik, another trade-deadline pickup by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, extended his hitting streak to 11 games on Saturday and has strung together five consecutive multi-hit performances. The speedy outfielder is batting .313 in 16 games since coming over from the Royals.

Hong-Chih Kuo, chosen by Los Angeles manager Joe Torre to replace the struggling Jonathan Broxton as closer earlier in the week, saved Saturday's win by striking out two batters in a perfect ninth.

Lilly outdueled counterpart Derek Lowe (11-10), with the former Dodger yielding just one run and scattering 10 hits over the first six innings in a hard-luck loss.

"(The game) was well pitched," noted Braves outfielder Jason Heyward. "We played great defense to hold them to only two runs tonight."

Despite last night's setback, Atlanta still holds the best home record in the majors at 40-16. Bobby Cox's squad did have its lead atop the NL East cut, however, with second-place Philadelphia closing within two games after beating the Mets on Saturday.

Turner Field has also been quite good to Jair Jurrjens, who'll be toeing the rubber for the hosts this afternoon. The talented right-hander boasts a 4-0 record along with an outstanding 1.91 earned run average over his six home starts this season, having allowed two runs or less on all but one of those occasions.

Jurrjens has usually performed well regardless of the venue since returning from a strained hamstring that sidelined him for two months. The Curacao native has gone 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA in eight starts following his activation from the disabled list in late June, compared to an 0-3 mark and 6.38 ERA in five outings prior to the injury.

A 14-game winner for Atlanta last season, Jurrjens owns a 2-1 record with a 4.03 ERA in four matchups with the Dodgers during his three-year stay with the Braves. He did struggle in two 2009 starts against Los Angeles, however, surrendering nine runs (eight earned) and 17 hits in just 9 1/3 innings pitched while registering a loss and a no-decision.

Vicente Padilla gets the call for the Dodgers today and like Jurrjens, has been sharp since coming back from an injury of his own. The veteran righty has amassed a 5-1 record and a terrific 1.71 ERA over a span of eight appearances beginning on June 30, and enters this afternoon's tilt on a two-start win streak.

Padilla wasn't at his best his last time out, permitting four runs over five innings at Philadelphia last Tuesday, but received a wealth of offensive support in his team's 15-9 victory over the Phillies. He was on top of his game in his previous assignment, though, firing a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts to defeat San Diego on August 4.

The 32-year-old, who missed nearly two months with a nerve problem in his throwing arm earlier in the year, is 6-8 with a 3.54 ERA in 18 career games (17 starts) against the Braves and sports a 4-3 record with a 2.70 ERA through eight Turner Field starts.

These teams split a four-game series at Dodger Stadium from June 3-6. Los Angeles has lost in six of its past nine visits to Turner Field, but did take two of three bouts from the Braves there last season.