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National League Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, July 12 (All times Eastern)

San Diego Padres (41-52) at Los Angeles Dodgers (52-43), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.71) Los Angeles - Paul Maholm (1-4, 5.18)

( - The Los Angeles Dodgers turn to Paul Maholm for a spot start on Saturday night as they play the third contest of a four-game series with the San Diego Padres.

With Josh Beckett sidelined due to a hip injury, Maholm will make his eighth start of the campaign and first since May 14. He is 1-4 with a 5.50 earned run average this season as a starter and has posted a 5.18 ERA in 24 total appearances.

It is unknown how long the left-hander will be able to pitch tonight, though he has been used in long relief out of the bullpen.

"I just look at it that it's my job to go as long as I can and save the bullpen as much as possible," Maholm told "It's not like the first time I've done it. I threw in Detroit and a few pitches off the mound yesterday. Obviously, it's a different role than the last few months, but it's more in my comfort zone than coming into games in the middle."

The 32-year-old Maholm is 1-6 lifetime versus the Padres with a 4.56 ERA.

San Diego counters with Ian Kennedy, who takes aim at a third straight winning start on Saturday.

Kennedy has allowed only one run in each of his past two outings and is coming off Monday's 6-1 win over Colorado. He lasted seven innings and worked around four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts.

"He was good from pitch one until his last," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He threw the fastball with conviction, really turned it loose."

The 29-year-old righty is 7-9 on the year with a 3.71 ERA, but has gone 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers on the season. In those outings, he has been charged with seven earned runs over 10 innings.

San Diego drew even in this set with last night's 6-3 win. Carlos Quentin knocked in three runs and Alexi Amarista smacked a two-run homer to help the Padres snap a three-game slide.

Jesse Hahn yielded a run on three hits and four walks, striking out six.

"After the first inning I was able to throw strikes," Hahn said. "My curveball was working tonight. It's nice when you have a great defense behind you."

Dan Haren surrendered six hits and four runs across four-plus frames to drop his second consecutive start for the Dodgers.

"Dan just didn't get the ball where he wanted to tonight," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He wasn't as sharp as he's been. We gave them extra chances. We missed opportunities tonight. We have to learn from it and move forward."

Yasiel Puig went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, but the Dodgers lost for the third time in four tries and dropped into a virtual tie for first place with San Francisco for first place in the NL West.

San Diego snapped a four-game slide at Dodger Stadium.

07/12 10:53:50 ET