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05/19/10 10:02 PM ET

Padres-Dodgers a matchup like any other?

Adrian Gonzalez is heating up at the plate, but remaining cool about the situation.

On Wednesday, the Padres first baseman hit a three-run homer and drove in a career-high six runs in his club's 10-5 victory against the Dodgers in the first game of the two-game series but didn't make a fuss about it.

The victory extended the Padres' lead in the National League West to 1 1/2 games ahead the Giants and two games against the Dodgers, but you would never know it by looking at the All-Star.

A stoic Gonzalez, who has nine home runs and 25 RBIs this season, remains business-like. The series against the Dodgers will not make or break his club's season, he says. How important is the series? Not very, Gonzalez believes.

"Importance, zero," he said. "Being that it's a division, you always want to win those games, but as far as important and gotta, gotta, gotta ... zero."

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw might have a different point of view. The left-hander will take the hill on Thursday against San Diego's Kevin Correia.

Gonzalez knows Kershaw well. The lefty-swinging slugger is 2-for-19 with eight strikeouts against the southpaw. He went 0-for-3 with one strikeout against him earlier this season.

"He's got a good fastball, and for me it's always tough facing pitchers that throw hard and have a good fastball that don't necessarily hit their location but are still around the plate," Gonzalez said. "He's not wild, that's the thing. He doesn't walk people, he throws strikes, but it's like, a lot of times [Dodgers catcher Russell] Martin will set up away, and he throws in, but it's a strike. But it's just hard for me, being a guy that likes to have a game plan and to be able to go up there and say, 'I think he's going to pitch me away,' because, yeah, he might be trying to go away, but then he goes in. That gets me off my game plan, and that makes it that much harder. And his stuff's already good."

On Saturday, in his last outing, Kershaw held the Padres to one run on three hits in seven innings. He has rebounded from the worst start of his career on May 4 to allow just five hits and one run in 15 innings over his last pair of starts, both wins. He's also struck out 16 and walked just five in during that span.

As for Correia, he allowed four runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings opposite Kershaw on Saturday. He allowed a solo home run to James Loney in the second inning but yielded only two hits over the first four innings.

"From Pitch 1, I felt pretty good," he said.

However, Correia ran into trouble thereafter, as he admitted he started to tire.

Padres: Blanks hurting
An MRI exam on Kyle Blanks' right elbow on Wednesday revealed a strain in a tendon. ... Gonzalez could see some time as a designated hitter when the Padres kick off Interleague Play on Friday night in Seattle, potentially leaving first base open for Oscar Salazar, Matt Stairs or Blanks.

Dodgers at the plate
Martin went 1-for-3 on Wednesday to extend his career-high hitting streak to 14 games. It's the longest active hitting streak in the Major Leagues and the longest for a Dodgers player since Matt Kemp opened the 2009 season by hitting safely in his first 14 games from April 6-21. ... Manny Ramirez struck out as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning after being a late scratch from Wednesday's starting lineup with left foot injury that he suffered during pregame warmups. ... With a homer on Wednesday, Casey Blake has gone deep in consecutive games for the 13th time in his career and first time since Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 2008.

Worth noting
Padres manager Bud Black has said that the NL West is one of the toughest divisions in baseball and he's sticking to that stance. He wonders why others don't feel the same way.

"I think this division gets overlooked, I really do," Black said. "There's good teams here. You look at last the five years, six, whatever. There's two teams coming out of this division. That's a lot. There have been good records in this division. You look at [the Dodgers' lineup], some of the arms they have in their 'pen. You look at some of the arms they have in their rotation, you know eventually they were going to make a run."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.