09/06/10 7:29 PM ET
Latos' scratch sets up duel with Kershaw
By Sunil Joshi / MLB.com
Latos was originally scheduled to pitch on Monday, but he was scratched because of the stomach flu. The Padres still found a way to break their onerous 10-game skid, one that saw them lose most of their lead in the National League West. San Diego leads the division by one game over the Giants.
So now, the Padres need their young right-hander to come up big in what has suddenly become a very tight pennant race. It's not too much to ask -- he's been doing it all season. Latos leads the NL with a 2.25 ERA, and he hasn't allowed more than two runs in a start since June 4. He's coming off a start on Sept. 1 when he allowed one run on four hits in six innings while fanning 10. Still, the Padres couldn't pull out a win against the D-backs.
"I did what I wanted to do when I woke up this morning," Latos said, "which was to come out and try to put zeros on the board and keep this game close and try to win a ballgame."
Latos faces a man in Kershaw who can match him zero for zero. Kershaw's luck in his last start was similar to Latos' -- he fanned 11 batters over six innings of two-run ball, but the Dodgers fell to the Phillies. Kershaw was touched for home runs by Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, leading off the first and second innings.
"First pitch to Rollins, I really was just trying to throw a strike -- tip your hat to him I guess," Kershaw said. "I obviously didn't expect him to turn and burn like that. The one to Victorino, I'd like to have back. It was an 0-2 pitch up."
Dodgers: Broxton used in seventh
A year ago, Jonathan Broxton was one of the most fearsome closers in the NL, saving 36 games. In July of this year, Broxton slammed the door for the NL in its first All-Star victory since 1996.
But on Monday, Broxton entered the game in the seventh inning, with the Dodgers trailing, 3-2. It was the third time in Broxton's past four appearances that he's appeared in the seventh. The last time Broxton made three seventh-inning appearances in that short a span was from July 19-24, 2006. It's been a difficult fall from grace for Broxton. He allowed Aaron Cunningham to double and score on Tuesday.
"I think we have to just put him in situations not in the ninth inning, I mean a save situation in the ninth inning and just try to get some appearances under his belt," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said when he demoted Broxton from the ninth-inning role. "Wherever we go, whether we're going to get to the postseason or not, I think this is very important: that he finishes this season with a good taste in his mouth."
Padres: Young on comeback trail
Right-hander Chris Young has been sidelined since April with right shoulder inflammation, but he could be close to returning to the Friars.
Young threw 3 1/3 innings on Sunday for Triple-A Portland, and he could throw a simulated game before returning to the mound for the Friars.
"It's still an evolution for me -- trying to bring some stuff along, work on command, work on some of my offspeed pitches," Young said. "It's still a work in progress. I can't expect to be 100 percent in midseason form right now, but I feel like I'm getting there."
The Dodgers need one more win in San Diego to clinch their first winning season there since 2004. ... Padres closer Heath Bell appeared in a game on Monday for the first time since Aug. 27. He converted his first save since Aug. 19. Nevertheless, Bell is still second in the NL in saves with 38. He hasn't blown a save since May 9, a string of 25 in a row.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.