Kershaw goes for Dodgers in opener with Padres

Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers will try to game series at Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw has won three straight and eight of nine starts and will try to become the National League's second 17-game winner joining Ian Kennedy of Arizona. Kershaw also leads the Senior Circuit with 207 strikeouts and fanned eight batters in last Tuesday's 13-2 pounding of the Cardinals in St. Louis. He hasn't allowed a run in back-to-back starts and held the Cards to six hits over six scoreless innings.

The left-hander improved to 16-5 in 27 starts and lowered his earned run average to 2.51. Kershaw is a solid 9-1 in 13 home starts and 5-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 11 career matchups with the NL West-rival Padres. He went the distance in a 6-2 win at San Diego on Aug. 1.

Los Angeles hopes Kershaw can go all nine innings again tonight after its five-game winning streak come to a close in Sunday's 7-6 loss versus Colorado in the finale of a three-game set. Nathan Eovaldi didn't have a Kershaw-like performance and was reached for five runs and six hits in four innings. Blake Hawksworth gave up two runs in two innings of relief.

"Nothing was wrong with Nathan today," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "We just didn't get a break in the first inning."

Tony Gwynn and Justin Sellers each had two hits and an RBI for the Dodgers. In off the field news, outfielder Andre Ethier implied in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that the team was forcing him to play on his balky right knee. He did not play Sunday and backed off of his comments.

"It's always been my choice to keep playing," Ethier said on the club's site.

The Dodgers are 14-11 in August and need another win in their last three games to clinch the first winning month of the season.

San Diego will try to prevent that from happening and has dropped four straight since winning five in a row. It was just swept in three games at Arizona and sustained a 6-1 loss in Sunday's series finale.

Cory Luebke pitched 5 1/3 innings and was dealt the loss, allowing three runs and six hits, including two homers, with five strikeouts and three walks.

"I was a little off-balanced, falling behind and was trying to figure out what was going on ... the ball was taking off on me a little," said Luebke.

Orlando Hudson's home run in the second inning provided the scoring for the Padres, who got a team-high two hits from Jason Bartlett. Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin didn't start for the second time in as many days Sunday because of a sore right wrist. He is day-to-day.

Mat Latos takes the ball for San Diego tonight and is 6-12 with a 3.74 ERA in 25 starts this season. He did not record a decision in Tuesday's 7-5 win at San Francisco, as he surrendered two runs -- one earned -- and three hits in six innings of work. Latos walked four batters and struck out two.

The righty is 3-5 in 12 road starts this season and 1-5 with a 2.45 ERA in seven career starts against Los Angeles. Latos lost to the Dodgers in a 1-0 decision on Aug. 2 at Petco Park.

Los Angeles has won eight of 12 meetings with San Diego this season, including four wins in six tries at Dodger Stadium.