Billingsley makes season debut in San Diego

Chad Billingsley makes his first start of the season on Wednesday when the Los Angeles Dodgers continue a three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Billingsley entered spring training with elbow concerns, but opened the year on the disabled list because of a bruised right finger he suffered during a bunting drill.

The righty, who was 10-9 with a 3.55 ERA last season, missed the final month of last season with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. However, he opted against surgery and received platelet-rich plasma injections during the offseason.

Billingsley has faced the Padres 26 times (22 starts) and is 12-8 with a 2.62 ERA.

San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Eric Stults, who was magnificent against the New York Mets on Thursday. Stults scattered three hits and struck out seven over five scoreless innings to get the win in that one.

"That's his game. We saw that last year," said San Diego manager Bud Black. "Mixing pitches, a variety of speeds, kept them off balance all day. High and low with the fastball. In and out with the fastball. Good overhand curve. Good change, little slider to the lefty. He pitched well.

"Really, the thing that was a little astounding for me was the high pitch count through five innings. With a shutout and only three or four hits; that's the thing that I thought was remarkable. He pitched a lot better than (95) pitches to get through five innings."

Stults allowed a run in six innings, but did not get a decision in his only other start against the Dodgers.

San Diego picked up just its second win of the season on Tuesday, as Will Venable hit a solo home run and a three-run triple to lead the Padres to a 9-3 victory in their home opener. Nick Hundley hit a solo home run while Yonder Alonso, Jedd Gyorko, Mark Kotsay and Chris Denorfia all drove in a run for the Padres, who had lost five of six on the road to start the season.

Clayton Richard pitched five innings in the start and gave up two runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Luke Gregerson (1-0) got the final out of the seventh inning to get the win.

"When our offense plays like it did tonight it's contagious," said Richard. "Everyone feeds off of it and tonight showed what we can do when everything is clicking for us."

Juan Uribe hit a two-run home run while Adrian Gonzalez added two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Dodgers, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.

"I think the pressure comes from wanting to win and nothing else," said Gonzalez. "I think we all want to help the team out and in that sometimes you press a little too much."

Josh Beckett was touched for three runs on six hits over five innings in the start while Ronald Belisario (0-1) was handed the loss after giving up a run in the seventh inning.

The Dodgers were 11-7 against the Padres last season.