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SD@COL: Kennedy fans nine, holds Rockies to one run

Ian Kennedy is getting the ball for the Padres on Saturday night -- that much has been clear.

As for his opponent? That was up in the air until minutes after San Diego's 6-3 win Friday at Dodger Stadium.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced late Friday night that Paul Maholm would get the ball. The left-hander, who has served primarily as a long reliever this season, is ready for the opportunity.

"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 said. "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."

Maholm went 1-4 with a 5.50 ERA in seven starts this season, allowing 49 hits, eight home runs and striking out 13 in 37 2/3 innings. He has a 5.18 ERA overall.

Mattingly said Maholm would likely be limited to 80 or 90 pitches, but Maholm said he's willing to throw however many it takes to get the job done.

"I told them I don't feel there's a limit to how many pitches I can throw; we'll see what they think," Maholm said. "I keep my mechanics simple and my arm in good shape. I'm hoping to go five innings plus and see how the game goes."

For the Padres, Kennedy has worked at least six innings in 15 of his 19 starts this season -- including each of his last three.

He's pitched well away from Petco Park this season, going 4-4 with a 3.49 ERA in nine starts. In his last start, Kennedy held the Rockies to four hits and just one run in seven innings at Coors Field, striking out nine.

"Ian was good from his first pitch to his last pitch," Padres manager Bud Black said after that start. "He threw his fastball with conviction. He had a good hook, a good little slider. But it all starts with the fastball. Four-seamers up and he dotted some fastballs low."

Kennedy is 5-5 with a 4.40 ERA in 13 career starts against the Dodgers, and he's allowed seven runs in 10 innings against them this season. But he's also having one of his best seasons on the mound in terms of strikeouts.

Kennedy has struck out a team-high 125 batters, and his 9.67 strikeouts per nine innings ranks third in the National League and seventh in the Majors.

"I've faced him in the past," Padres third baseman Chase Headley said of Kennedy, who won 21 games with the D-backs in 2011. "He looks back to the form I've seen in the past."

Padres: Headley heating up
Headley has hit safely in nine of the 10 games this month with two doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBIs in that span.

His home run Thursday against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw gave the Padres their lone run and snapped Kershaw's scoreless-innings streak at 41.

Headley now has seven home runs at Dodger Stadium, behind only Troy Tulowitzki, Hunter Pence and Paul Goldschmidt (all with eight) among active visiting players.

Dodgers: Ethier, Ramirez get rests before break
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez and center fielder Andre Ethier were not in the starting lineup Friday, and it's possible neither will see much time on the field before the All-Star break.

Ethier was out of the lineup for the second straight game, dealing with soreness and multiple nicks and bruises. He did enter in the eighth inning Friday night, working a walk as a pinch-hitter and staying in defensively in center field for the ninth.

Ramirez was removed from the eighth inning of Thursday's series opener with an arthritic right shoulder, and though an injection in his AC joint helped relieve the soreness, Mattingly said he's unsure of Ramirez's availability for the remainder of the series.

"He's no different than Dre," Mattingly said. "You'd like to come out of the break feeling good, but also if he's available to play, play. It doesn't make sense to put a guy on the DL if he's feeling good."

There are no plans to put either player on the disabled list.

Worth noting
• The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation -- along with the LA84 Foundation and the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation -- will dedicate its 34th Dodgers Dreamfield at Ted Watkins Memorial Park on 11 a.m. PT Saturday. Dodgers players Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Perez, Miguel Rojas and Justin Turner will be in attendance.

• Through the Padres' 93 games, Kennedy's 125 strikeouts are the fourth-most in franchise history to start a season, behind only Andy Benes in 1994 (138) and '95 (126), and Clay Kirby in 1972 (126). Comments