Preview: Alex Wood Puts Unbeaten Record On The Line, Dodgers Begin Final Road Series Before All-Star Break
Preview: Adrian Gonzalez Returns, Dodgers Look To End 3-game Losing Streak
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers reached the midway point of the 2017 season on Thursday, and now begin their final road series before the All-Star break. The weekend series against the San Diego Padres also marks the conclusion of a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

While Corey Seager returned to the lineup in the finale of the Freeway Series, he’s receiving a planned night off as Kiké Hernandez starts at shortstop. Seager’s start on Thursday was his first time playing in five games after suffering a Grade 1 hamstring strain.

Trayce Thompson makes a third consecutive start, though this time in center field. On th emound the Dodgers hand to the ball to Alex Wood, who looks to remain unbeaten this season.

Wood is 8-0 with a 1.86 ERA, 2.12 FIP and 0.92 WHIP in 13 gams (11 starts). He’s the first Dodgers pitcher since Orel Hershiser in 1985 to go undefeated in his first 11 starts of a season.

What’s more, Wood is the first Dodgers pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to start a season 8-0. The 26-year-old has emerged as the team’s best starter behind Clayton Kershaw and was named National League Pitcher of the Month for May.

Wood’s only time facing the Padres this season came in April when he tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He’s a lifetime 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA and 1.05 WHIp in nine games (five starts) against the Padres.

Conversely, the Dodgers draw Clayton Richard for a third time this season. The southpaw held Los Angeles scoreless at Dodger Stadium over eight innings in an April start, but was roughed up at home for five runs on seven hits in May.

Richard is 7-5 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 21 career games (19 starts) against the Dodgers. Overall this season, the veteran lefty is 5-7 with a 4.41 ERA, 4.07 FIP and 1.45 WHIP in 16 starts.

Yasiel Puig, who hit one of the Dodgers’ three home runs on Thursday night, is a lifetime 4-for-12 with a double and home run off Richard. Justin Turner is 5-for-12 but without an extra-base hit.

The Dodgers are 5-1 this season, including a 2-0 record at Petco Park.

Dodgers lineup:

LF: Chris Taylor
SS: Kiké Hernandez
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
2B: Logan Forsythe
C: Austin Barnes
CF: Trayce Thompson
RF: Yasiel Puig
P: Alex Wood

Padres lineup:

LF: Jose Pirela
CF: Manuel Margot
1B: Wil Myers
RF: Hunter Renfroe
3B: Cory Spangenberg
SS: Erick Aybar
C: Austin Hedges
2B: Carlos Asuaje
P: Clayton Richard