(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers turn to right-hander Zack Greinke on Tuesday when they continue their season-opening three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Greinke comes into the season with some elbow concerns. He had an injection in February and wasn't particularly sharp this spring. However, he did strike out nine batters over seven innings in his last Cactus League outing.
Entering his third season with the Dodgers, Greinke was tremendous in 2014, as he went 17-8 with a 2.71 ERA. He and Washington ace Max Scherzer are the only MLB pitchers to post 15 or more wins in each of the last four seasons.
Greinke is also a perfect 4-0 versus the Padres with a 1.84 ERA in seven starts. In fact, since he's been with the Dodgers Greinke is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA in six starts against the Padres.
San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with righty Tyson Ross, who will be trying to follow up a breakout season. Ross was an All-Star for the first time a year ago and went 13-14 with a 2.81 ERA.
Had Ross not pitched for the team with the worst offense in baseball, he may have won upward of 18 games.
Ross was also solid this spring, going 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 21 2/3 innings. Although, those strikeout numbers were inflated in his final outing when he became just the second pitcher in the last five seasons to fan 12 in a spring training contest.
Ross pitched well against the Dodgers in 2014, but had nothing to show for it. Despite pitching to a 2.67 ERA against them, he lost all four starts to them.
Jimmy Rollins' first game as a Dodgers was one to remember on Monday, as his three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning gave Los Angeles a 6-3 win.
Highly touted rookie Joc Pederson drew a walk against Shawn Kelley (0-1) to start the eighth and advanced to second two batters later on a Kelley error that allowed Andre Ethier to reach base. Rollins then stepped up and delivered a shot to right, breaking a 3-3 tie.
"It was very cool," Rollins said. "You get that first 'W' out of the way and get that left column rolling."
Rollins' heroics overshadowed a mediocre start from reigning National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. The lefty struck out nine in six innings, but was reached for three runs on six hits and a pair of walks.
Joel Peralta (1-0) picked up the win after tossing a scoreless eighth, and Chris Hatcher faced the minimum in the ninth to post his first career save.
Former Dodger Matt Kemp, part of San Diego's new-look outfield, did all he could to burn his former team, finishing 2-for-4 with three RBI. Newly acquired catcher Derek Norris had a pair of hits in the loss.
"It was great, just to come back here and get the love that I got," said Kemp, who recieved a nice ovation when introduced.
San Diego has lost 11 of the last 16 meetings with Los Angeles.