Published April 13, 2012
| Sports Network
Los Angeles is off to its best start in 31 years and a strong showing in San Diego to open the season was a big part of that.
The Dodgers now welcome the Padres to LA for three straight games beginning with tonight's contest that will serve as a rematch between the starts of last week's finale.
Los Angeles opened the season by plating 17 runs in taking the first three of a four-game series with San Diego. The Padres avoided a sweep with an 8-4 win on Sunday, with Clayton Richard making a successful return to the mound to spoil Aaron Harang's Dodgers debut.
Richard made his first start since last July due to left shoulder surgery and held the Dodgers to a pair of unearned runs on two hits and no walks over seven innings. The southpaw retired the first nine batters faced and did not allow a h it until a two-run homer by Matt Kemp in the sixth inning.
Still, the 28-year-old improved to 5-1 with a 2.18 earned run average in eight career starts versus the Dodgers. That includes a 2-1 mark and 2.70 ERA in three starts at Dodger Stadium.
San Diego native Harang, meanwhile, allowed four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits while walking five over 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who pitched with the Padres last season, struck out six and fell to 3-5 with a 4.24 ERA in 11 games versus San Diego, including 10 starts.
Harang makes his second start one night after the Dodgers wrapped up a three- game sweep of the Pirates with a 3-2 win. Chris Capuano yielded two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings, while Juan Rivera, James Loney and Juan Uribe each drove in a run.
"I had great movement on my pitches early," said Capuano. "The first win of the season is nice to get."
At 6-1, the Dodgers are off to their best start since opening up their 1981 championship season 9-1.
The Padres wrapped up their season-opening seven-game homestand by dropping two of three to the Diamondbacks. San Diego lost the rubber match on Thursday 3-1, failing to break the game open early.
San Diego opened the game with three straight hits, including Will Venable's run-scoring single that followed Cameron Maybin's leadoff triple. However, the Padres ended the frame with three straight strikeouts against Arizona starter Ian Kennedy and never got their offense back on track.
"We strung some hits together early on him and then he worked his way out of that," San Diego's Chase Headley said. "After that, he was pretty dialed in the rest of the night."
Anthony Bass started in place of the injured Dustin Moseley and limited Arizona to a run on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision.
San Diego, which opens a six-game road trip, is hitting just .179 to open the season.
The Dodgers have won 13 of their past 16 versus the Padres.