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7:10 PM PT8:10 PM MT9:10 PM CT10:10 PM ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 PM MST9:10 PM EST9:40 PM VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 PM CT, May 14, 2019
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 46,460

Padres' Paddack to get biggest test yet -- Kershaw

Chris Paddack's spectacular start to his career will get the spotlight treatment Tuesday when he squares off with Clayton Kershaw.

The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers will open a two-game series Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, a week and a half after a spectacular clash at San Diego on May 3-5. The Dodgers came from behind for two victories, while the Padres won the finale on Hunter Renfroe's walk-off grand slam.

The Padres' Paddack has shown he is worthy of his moment in the spotlight against the Dodgers' Kershaw with a 1.55 ERA over his first seven career starts. The rookie is 3-1 while the Padres are 6-1 in his outings.

And he will come into his first career start against the Dodgers after a season-best 7 2/3 innings against the New York Mets on May 6 where he did not give up a run, passed the 90-pitch mark for the first time and struck out a career-best 11.

What made it even more impressive is that had Paddack called out fellow rookie Pete Alonso of the Mets after Alonso won the season's first National League Rookie of the Month award.

After feeling snubbed for his body of work before the calendar flipped to May, Paddack boasted that he would be coming for Alonso. And he did, striking out Alonso twice while giving up just four hits to the Mets.

"Would you rather be Rookie of the Month or Rookie of the Year?" Paddack told reporters after the victory. "Nothing against Pete Alonso. Guy's a great guy and well-deserved Rookie of the Month. ... But I just wanted to have a little fun out of it, get me fired up, get my team fired up."

Paddack certainly is not afraid of a head-to-head duel and he figures to get one against Kershaw (2-0, 3.31).

The Dodgers' ace left-hander is not as dominating as he once was following multiple back injuries, but he has not been a pushover, either. The Dodgers have earned a victory in all five of Kershaw starts this season, following a delayed debut because of shoulder inflammation.

Kershaw might be in reinvention mode, but he remains a handful for opponents because as he refines his new look moving forward he can still throw like the Kershaw of old when he needs to do it.

The results were mixed in his last outing Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves, when he gave up four runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings, but also reached 100 pitches for the second time this season. The offense did more than enough to cover for their star pitcher in a 9-4 win.

"It definitely feels like when you come to the ballpark we're going to win every night," Kershaw told reporters afterward. "With the ebbs and flows of a season, you're not always going to feel that way. But right now, it does. It feels like someone's going to pick us up. If we're down, we'll come back. If we have the lead early, we'll hold it and add on late."

The powerful Dodgers offense was held in check over the weekend by the Nationals, as the team's split a four-game series. The Dodgers did not get a hit with a runner in scoring position in the series until Corey Seager's grand slam in the eighth inning of Sunday's series finale.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 13, 2019

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