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CLE@LAD: Ryu strikes out eight over seven frames

Hyun-Jin Ryu is coming off perhaps the most disappointing start of his career, but he'll have a chance to rebound on Sunday at Dodger Stadium against the Padres, who own the Majors' worst offense, in the final matchup for both clubs before the All-Star break.

In his last outing against Detroit, Ryu blew the five-run lead that the Dodgers gave him in the top of the first off Justin Verlander. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings -- the second-shortest outing of his career -- and allowed seven runs on 10 hits.

"I let my team down after they scored five runs. I had a cushion and didn't capitalize," Ryu said. "Nothing was working. My command was not there. I'd miss by a foot or right down the middle, nothing on the edges. I learned again that, with Major League hitters, you can't pitch in the middle."

Ryu has generally been solid this season, though, lasting least six innings in 13 of his 17 starts, and the lefty has been even better against the Padres. He's gone 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in three starts against them in his career.

This will be the third time he's faced them this year. He pitched seven scoreless innings in a no-decision at Petco Park on March 30, and allowed just one run on four hits on June 22 in a 2-1 Dodgers win.

Tyson Ross, the Padres' lone All-Star, will hope to hand Ryu his first career defeat against San Diego.

The right-hander has pitched far better than his 7-9 record indicates -- while taking losses in four of his five June starts, Ross received just one run of support while he was on the mound -- and that came via his own sacrifice fly.

In his first July start, Ross took matters into his own hands by pitching his first career shutout against Cincinnati. But the lack of support doomed him once again in his last outing, as the Padres could only muster one run at Coors Field in a 2-1 loss to the Rockies despite a quality start from Ross.

Ross won't pitch in the All-Star Game because of his Sunday start, but against the Dodgers' star-studded lineup, he'll get to showcase his stuff against a powerful offense all the same.

Dodgers: Crawford added to center-field mix
The Dodgers' center-field carousel has another participant.

Andre Ethier has been the Dodgers' primary center fielder this season -- starting 49 games there -- but Scott Van Slyke has seen time there recently and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said left fielder Carl Crawford has started taking fly balls in center as well.

"The way we are right now -- Scott's been swinging the bat well; Dre had a really good second half last year; Carl's going to mess around in center field, taking fly balls," Mattingly said. "So we'll continue to try to do the best we can out there."

With Matt Kemp now firmly entrenched in left field, Crawford hasn't started a game since his return, so he's looking to add to his versatility.

"He just kind of went out there on his own," Mattingly said of Crawford's work in center. "I know he played there in the Minor Leagues, and they kind of moved him in Tampa. I think with our situation, Carl going out there and taking fly balls, you never know what can happen. So I encouraged him to do a little work out there."

The Dodgers don't have a prototypical center fielder to turn to, but Mattingly said he doesn't think that will hurt his team as it looks to make another playoff run in the second half.

"We've been doing it all year, so I don't know why we can't continue to do it," he said. "We play in a lower-scoring environment now, kind of regularly. We have to continue to improve as far as not giving away extra outs and being as good as we can possibly be.

"This is our team, and we can be good enough to win it all like this."

Padres: Peterson focused on process, not results
It's been a struggle at the big league level this season for rookie infielder Jace Peterson, who was added to the roster for the third time this season prior to Saturday night's 1-0 loss to the Dodgers.

Peterson, who started the season with Double-A San Antonio, hit .100 in his first 50 at-bats with San Diego. When he was sent back to Triple-A El Paso on June 28, he left with some marching orders from hitting coach Phil Plantier.

"I'm just trying to have good at-bats and, specifically, letting the ball get there instead of going to get it," he said. "I'm not worrying so much about results but just having good at-bats."

Peterson, who can play second base, shortstop and third base, is hitting .294 this season in the Minor Leagues between San Antonio and El Paso.

He did not appear in Saturday night's game.

Worth noting
• Dodgers infielder Justin Turner, on the disabled list since June 29 with a left hamstring strain, will begin a rehab assignment Sunday with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Mattingly said he hopes to have Turner back Friday in St. Louis after the All-Star break.

• To make room for Peterson on the roster, San Diego optioned rookie starter Jesse Hahn to El Paso. Hahn isn't expected to make any starts in the Minors, and will rejoin the big league club after the All-Star break. Comments