Right-hander Zack Greinke will take the mound Saturday at Petco Park for the first time this season, as the Dodgers look to expand on their 3 1/2-game lead in the National League West in Game 2 of weekend set against the Padres.
Greinke continues to deal with soreness in his right elbow and wears a compression sleeve on his throwing arm during workouts. However, there was positive news this week when the right-hander threw a between-starts bullpen session for the first time in close to a month.
Greinke's start Saturday is his first in seven days. Prior to that, the 30-year-old needed eight days of rest. Still, Greinke said he's experiencing gradual improvement.
The Padres will counter with right-hander Ian Kennedy, who will be facing the Dodgers for the fifth time this season.
Kennedy has had success in Los Angeles this season, allowing three hits over eight scoreless innings with eight strikeouts on July 12 at Dodger Stadium. But he's also been hit hard, as was the case on Aug. 19, when he allowed five earned runs on seven hits in five innings of a road loss.
The five earned runs were the most he's allowed in a start since allowing five on June 10 against the Phillies.
The Padres scored three runs in the first inning of that start, but lost 8-6.
"It was a little frustrating ... our guys put up some runs early," Kennedy said.
Kennedy has a 4.23 ERA in five starts this month and actually has fared better on the road (3.50 ERA) than at pitcher-friendly Petco Park (4.04). Greinke, meanwhile, is 13-8 with a 2.79 ERA on the season.
Padres: Set for roster expansion
Major League teams can expand their 25-man rosters to as many as 40 players on Monday, but the Padres won't add nearly that many players. They will add more pitchers than position players, manager Bud Black said Friday.
"It will be a heavy dose of pitchers," he said. "And lighter on position players."
Many of the players won't arrive until Tuesday as most of the Minor League affiliates don't finish their season until Monday.
Most of the players the Padres expect to add have already spent time in the Majors, including pitchers Robbie Erlin and Jesse Hahn and infielder Jace Peterson.
Dodgers: Ryu to be activated Sunday
Hyun-Jin Ryu will come off the disabled list to start Sunday and Roberto Hernandez will start Monday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Friday.
Ryu was placed on the DL with a strained right glute muscle and will miss the minimum 15 days. His return, coming one day before rosters expand, will require a corresponding roster move. Kevin Correia has moved from the starting rotation to long relief.
Mattingly said as long as Ryu doesn't experience a setback, the decision makes sense because of matchups. Ryu has allowed the Padres one run in 19 innings this year. Hernandez has allowed Washington, Monday's opponent, one unearned run in 15 innings this year.
• Mattingly said Scott Van Slyke's turned right ankle is better than expected. The outfielder drew a pinch-hit walk in the ninth inning Friday night.
• Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is out for the season, will avoid surgery in his left knee.
• Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera (left hamstring strain) is nearing a Minor League rehab stint with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore.