Monday will see the Padres travel north to Los Angeles for a battle between the National League West's two struggling clubs at Dodger Stadium. More significantly, it will see the Major League debut of the Dodgers No. 1 prospect, Yasiel Puig.
Puig defected from Cuba in 2012 and signed a seven-year, $42 million deal with Los Angeles, which will promote him prior to the game.
The 22-year-old dominated this season at Double-A Chattanooga after impressing during big league Spring Training. He hit .313 with eight home runs, 12 doubles, three triples, 37 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and a .599 slugging percentage in 40 games prior to his promotion.
"You don't want to build him up to where it's impossible for him to live up to all the hype," cautioned manager Don Mattingly. "In my mind, he's still a young player, obviously with huge potential.
"There's still so much baseball, and I don't say that in a flippant way that these games don't matter. But you saw with the Angels and Mike Trout last year, he came up and things completely turned around with what he brought to the table. It's unfair to say that happens here, but he could make a big impact."
He'll face former Dodger Eric Stults, coming off one of the best outings of his career.
Stults struck out a career-high 12 batters against the Mariners on Wednesday, throwing eight innings of one-run ball on only three hits and no walks.
"He's pitched some very good games for us ... but I don't know how you throw any better than that," Padres manager Bud Black said afterward. "That's impressive."
With Stults on the mound, the Padres will look to continue their recent success, having won four of their last six, including two walk-off wins.
But Puig's promotion is a result of the Dodgers' recent problems, mostly stemming from a spate of injuries. Among them is scheduled starter Chris Capuano, who was pulled from his last start due to cramping in his left triceps, and will likely be replaced by Stephen Fife for the opener against San Diego.
Dodgers: Crawford dealing with troublesome hamstring
• Among the many injuries the Dodgers are nursing is Carl Crawford's left hamstring.
The Dodgers would like to avoid having to place Crawford on the disabled list, but the left fielder sounded less optimistic about a quick heal Sunday, a day after he felt it twinge while running out a double.
"The only bad thing about this is, early in the year it was my right side, and this time it's the left side. My left side is where I get all my explosiveness from," said Crawford. "Hitting, running out of the box, running the bases, defense -- that's the side I push off with for everything."
Padres: Alonso recovering from hit by pitch
• San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso left Friday's game against the Blue Jays after being hit in the hand with a pitch from Aaron Loup. He remained in the game to play an inning of defense, but never came to bat again.
X-rays were negative after the game, but Alonso spent all day Saturday icing his hand. He did not play Sunday.
"They told me it was going to hurt a little bit this morning, but when I woke up, it wasn't as bad," Alonso said. "Just trying to get the swelling out and get my grip back to where it wants to be."
In his second full season with San Diego, Alonso is hitting .284 with six home runs, 29 RBIs, 22 runs scored and a .335 on-base percentage.
• Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera has nine multi-hit efforts in his past 18 games (since May 15), including in three of the past five. During that span, Cabrera is hitting .338 (25-for-74) with three doubles, one triple, two home runs and 12 RBIs.
• The Dodgers have only one series victory in eight tries against division opponents this season. They have lost six consecutive series against NL West foes, including this past weekend's set in Colorado.
Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.