Jason Marquis eyes his 10th win of the season on Thursday when the San Diego Padres begin a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park.
Marquis won his third straight start and eighth consecutive decision on Saturday against Arizona, as he allowed three runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings to run his record to 9-2 to go along with a 3.63 ERA.
The right-hander walked four batters and has issued a major league-high 47 free passes this season. However, he is 8-0 with a 3.25 ERA in 10 starts since April 28, with the Padres posting a 9-1 mark in those games
With a win on Thursday he'd become the first Padres pitcher to win nine consecutive decisions since Kevin Brown won 11 straight May 26-Aug. 5, 1998.
Marquis has already beaten the Dodgers twice this year, posting a 2.37 ERA in three starts.
"Marquis is a tough matchup; he's given us trouble," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He seems like he pitches good every time. He's a guy that keeps the ball down. He can run the ball at you and break the ball off the plate to the other side. He's tough."
San Diego had won seven in a row before losing the final two games of its series with the San Francisco Giants, including a 4-2 setback on Wednesday in a game that featured a benches clearing incident.
San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner apparently took exception with a Jesus Guzman's exuberant celebration after a home run on Tuesday and threw behind him in the second inning. The incident triggered both benches to clear, though no punches were thrown or ejections handed out.
Of course, the Padres had a nasty brawl with the Dodgers earlier in the season when Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin to set off a brawl. This will be the third time the teams are meeting since that incident that broke Greinke's collar bone, but this will be the first matchup in San Diego.
Los Angeles split a day/night doubleheader on Wednesday in Mattingly's return to Yankee Stadium. The Dodgers dropped a 6-4 decision in the first game before jumping on the Yankees early in a 6-0 triumph in the night cap.
Chris Capuano fired six scoreless innings in his first start off the disabled list to get the win, while Yasiel Puig led Los Angeles' offensive charge by going 2-for-4 with a homer and three runs scored.
Hanley Ramirez had a terrific all-around day, going 6-for-8 in the twinbill with a home run and four RBI.
"Our offense (all day) was pretty good," Mattingly said. "It's a good sign and I hope something of a trend."
Hoping that continues on Thursday will be righty Stephen Fife, who has lost his last two starts. Fife fell to 1-2 on the year Friday in Pittsburgh, as he surrendered two runs and eight hits in five innings.
Fife's lone win this season came against San Diego back on June 3, as he allowed a run in 5 1/3 frames in his only other appearance against them.
San Diego has won five of its nine matchups with the Dodgers this season.