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Dodgers Look To Avoid Another San Diego September Sweep

(Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres are back atop the National League West standings. If they intend on staying there they are going to need a better effort from Mat Latos than they received from him his last time out, as the Padres try to complete a three-game sweep of the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

Latos endured the worst outing of his young career on Friday when he was hammered by the St. Louis Cardinals for eight runs and nine hits in just 1 1/3 innings to fall to 14-7 on the year

After allowing 12 earned runs in his previous 13 outings, Latos has allowed 13 in his last two starts to raise his earned run average to 2.84.

"Fatigue is not a factor," Latos said. "I was still throwing 97 [mph]. My body feels great, my arm feels fine."

Latos beat the Dodgers the last time he faced them, but is just 1-2 against them with a 2.57 ERA in four starts.

San Diego beat Los Angeles for the sixth straight time on Wednesday, as Miguel Tejada homered during a three-run third inning to back Tim Stauffer's solid performance on the mound, helping the Padres to a 3-1 win.

The win, coupled with San Francisco's loss in Chicago, moved the Padres back into first place in the NL West, a half-game ahead of the Giants.

Stauffer (5-4) gave up one run on three hits over six innings to pick up the win. He also fanned five batters and walked two. Heath Bell recorded his career-high 43rd save.

"Wins are everything. It doesn't matter what the scenario is," Stauffer said. "You always got to go out there and compete."

A.J. Ellis drove in the lone run for the Dodgers, who have lost six straight games to San Diego. Ted Lilly (8-12) went seven frames in the start, allowing three runs on eight hits to lose his fourth consecutive decision. The left- hander also struck out eight and walked one.

LA had just three hits, none past the third inning.

"Ted pitched very well. I thought he located his pitches very well, just the pitch to Tejada had too much of the plate," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

Los Angeles will pin its hopes on Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who is 10-13 with a 3.36 ERA. Kuroda absorbed the loss on Friday against Colorado, which reached him for five runs (three earned) and seven hits in six innings.

Kuroda lost to the Padres back on Sept. 5 and is 4-4 lifetime against them with a 5.21 ERA in nine starts.

San Diego has won 10 of its 17 meetings with the Dodgers this season.