09/07/10 7:34 PM ET
Veteran shortstops shine for Dodgers, Padres
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
When Los Angeles and San Diego hook up Wednesday for another game in their series at PETCO Park, with Dodgers righty Chad Billingsley getting the ball against Padres left-hander Cory Luebke, both dynamic veteran shortstops will be showcased, and both are in fine form of late.
Furcal might have missed 52 games while on the disabled list for hamstring and back problems (April 28-May 25 and Aug. 3-Sept. 2), but he's making up for the lost time by energizing the Dodgers' batting order.
Despite all the time he's missed, he has 13 games with three or more hits this year, which ties for 10th in the National League, and he also leads the team with 21 steals and has 30 multi-hit games in 80 total games, including a stretch of seven in a row from June 26-July 3.
And then there's Tejada, who came over from Baltimore to San Diego in midseason and has been everything the Padres hoped for.
Over his last 25 games, Tejada is hitting .299 (32-for-107) with seven doubles, four home runs, 14 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He has hit safely in 18 of those 26 games, tallying nine multi-hit efforts and six multi-RBI efforts.
He's also nearing history.
Tejada played in the 2,000th game of his career on Sunday, becoming one of 17 active players to appear in 2,000 games. In addition, Tejada belted career homer No. 297 in that game and is now three shy of 300 for his career. He would become the 22nd active player to reach 300 career long balls.
Dodgers: Billingsley a Padre killer
Billingsley has posted a 2.66 ERA and limited opponents to a .219 batting average in his 10 starts after the All-Star break. He's 10-5 with a 2.48 ERA in 21 career games (17 starts) against the Padres, and, most important for Wednesday, in two starts at PETCO Park this year, he's 2-0 and has thrown 13 1/3 scoreless innings. ... Catcher Rod Barajas is batting .303 (10-for-33) with four home runs and eight RBIs in 11 games with the Dodgers.
Padres: Luebke pitching for rotation?
The 25-year-old southpaw lost his Major League debut to the Rockies last Friday, giving up four runs on five hits, including two two-run homers, in five innings. This could be a big start for Luebke, who will be trying to remain in the rotation over struggling lefty Wade LeBlanc. ... San Diego has stolen 112 bases this year, ranking second in the NL (behind the New York Mets). The club has already stolen more bases than it did in any of the last three seasons.
Dodgers first baseman James Loney ranks fourth in the NL with 38 doubles, a new career high. He set a new career high with three doubles on June 15 and has five games with two or more doubles. ... Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez went 2-for-3 on Tuesday and has now hit safely in 26 of his last 30 games dating to Aug. 6. He's batting .379 (44-for-116) with nine doubles, six home runs, 21 RBIs and 19 runs scored over that stretch.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.