Scott Kazmir hopes to use the momentum from his longest outing of the last two seasons to help the Los Angeles Dodgers extend a lengthy streak in San Diego.
Behind a pitcher that seems to be over his injury concerns, the Dodgers seek their seventh straight win over the Padres at Petco Park on Friday night.
Los Angeles (21-21) has won 10 of the last 12 in this series, including six straight at San Diego (17-25). The Dodgers swept a series there to open the season April 4-6 before dropping two of three to the Padres at home from April 29-May 1.
Kazmir (3-3, 4.89 ERA) was close to his fourth career complete game Saturday but was chased with one out left to get. He finished the 5-3 win over St. Louis having allowed five hits and three runs, two earned, while walking one and striking out seven.
It was his longest start since his complete game on Sept. 11, 2014.
"I felt like every pitch was working for me," Kazmir told MLB's website. "I was able to get ahead in the count and had a good fastball (Saturday). I was able to keep hitters honest with the changeup away, cutter in - just mix it in and out. That was the key."
Kazmir dealt with soreness in his wrist and hand through spring training and it hampered him in April. He opened with a 6.63 ERA through four starts, but he has a 3.67 mark in four since.
The win over the Cardinals was the left-hander's best start since his first on April 5 against the Padres. He held them to a single hit in six innings of a 3-0 win, moving his career ERA against San Diego to 3.18 in three starts.
The first came in 2007, but over the last two seasons, Kazmir has allowed six hits and two earned runs in 11 innings in a pair of starts against San Diego. Adam Rosales and Alexei Ramirez have seen him the best, combining to bat .353 with a home run each in 51 at-bats.
The Padres will send Christian Friedrich to the mound for his second start.
Friedrich (0-1, 1.50) took the ball for his season debut last Friday in his first start since July 1, 2014. His return to the big leagues went well, holding Milwaukee to four hits and a run in six innings. However, he suffered the loss in a 1-0 game after walking six and intentionally walking another.
The left-hander threw a career-high 116 pitches.
"Feels good to grind it out," Friedrich told MLB's official website. "Obviously, I'd like to get ahead of some guys and not give out as many free passes, but I'm happy to work deeper into some pitch counts and grateful for the opportunity they gave me."
Friedrich went 0-4 with a 5.25 ERA in 68 appearances with Colorado last season before being waived and signing a minor league deal with the Padres on March 3.
He has never started against the Dodgers, but he has a 9.00 ERA in 10 relief appearances against them spanning seven innings. Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal have each homered off him.