Dodgers attempt to right ship in opener with Padres

( - The Los Angeles Dodgers will try to snap out of a recent rut and pad their lead in the National League West on Tuesday night when they welcome their National League West-rival San Diego Padres to Dodger Stadium for the opener of a three-game set.

The Dodgers began the day with a 3 1/2-game lead over San Francisco in the division. However, they suffered a three-game sweep at home over the weekend at the hands of the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

Starter Dan Haren may have nightmares about Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who took Haren deep with a two-run homer in the first inning and then hit a three-run double in the second. Milwaukee went on to win, 7-2,

Los Angeles and San Diego both had an off day Monday.

The Padres began their 10-game road trip by dropping three of four to the Cardinals in St. Louis over the weekend.

On Sunday, San Diego was on the wrong end of a 7-6 final against Adam Wainwright and the Cards. Starter Odrisamer Despaigne spotted St. Louis five runs in the first two innings, and the home team held off a late rally to make the lead stick.

"For a young team, I feel like we were in every game," first baseman Jake Goebbert said of the series. "We always answered back, and that's a quality that is commendable for everybody involved. I know we lost three out of four, but we could have very easily won three out of four."

The Padres will send Ian Kennedy to the mound for Tuesday's series opener. The right-hander has posted a 2.65 ERA in three starts since skipping a turn in the rotation with an oblique injury, although he has not gotten past the sixth inning in any of those starts.

Kennedy went six innings against Colorado on Wednesday and struck out eight batters.

Los Angeles will turn to Kevin Correia, who out-dueled Atlanta Braves' All- Star Julio Teheran in his Dodgers debut last Monday after being acquired from Minnesota two days earlier. Correia pitched six innings in that outing and allowed only one earned run on four hits while striking out five and walking one batter.

"I haven't had that feeling I don't think since being called up," he said. "I come in and I have a locker next to the best pitcher on the planet (Clayton Kershaw). I couldn't be happier with the spot that I'm in right now."

Originally slated for a bullpen role with his new team, Correia was moved into the starting rotation when Hyun-Jin Ryu was recently sent to the disabled list with a strained right glute.

Los Angeles has won seven of 10 meetings against the Padres this season.