Padres, Dodgers put their faith in veterans Rich Hill, Lance Lynn

Field Level Media
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August 1, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Lance Lynn (35) throws against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Dodger Stadium.
August 1, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Lance Lynn (35) throws against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Dodger Stadium.
Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After a pair of games that featured big eighth innings and huge comeback wins, the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will go back at it in a nationally televised game on Sunday night

The two teams have split the first two contests of an unusual four-game series that stretches into Monday


Two veteran pitchers who are new to their teams and this rivalry will be matched in San Diego. Right-hander Lance Lynn, 36, will be starting for the Dodgers. Rich Hill, 43, will be making his Padres' debut

The Padres acquired Hill from Pittsburgh along with designated hitter Ji Man Choi in a trade-deadline deal


At the time, Hill was viewed as rotation insurance. Then days later, the Padres learned that starter Joe Musgrove would be shut down for at least three weeks with inflammation in his right shoulder capsule

So, Hill (7-10, 4.76 ERA) is set to start Sunday against Lynn (7-9, 6.32), who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox pre-deadline. Lynn won his Dodgers debut on Tuesday when he held the Oakland Athletics to three runs on five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in seven innings

Both veterans, who came from teams who weren't in the playoff chase, find themselves in the thick of one now

The Dodgers are Lynn's sixth team. The Padres are Hill's 13th team, including three stints with the Boston Red Sox and a run with the Dodgers in which he went 30-16 with a 3.16 ERA over four seasons and 68 starts from 2016-19


Both managers are happy with the additions of their veteran pitchers

"He is what we needed and I think the change of scenery served Lance well," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Lynn's first start. "Seeing him on the mound is what we expected. It's been quite a while since we've had a starter go seven. I saw a little bit of eagerness, emotion, maybe a little bit of nerves. And I like that. It's what I expected. He's a pro.


The Padres' Bob Melvin on Hill: "Sometimes when you go to a new team, playing in the game is the most comfortable place to be. He's been through this before. This is not new for him. ... He's just excited about pitching in meaningful games. When you've pitched as long as he has, that's really what motivates you and still drives you, being able to pitch in games that mean something.

Lynn is 4-3 lifetime against the Padres with a 2.73 ERA and 42 strikeouts in nine starts. He faced the Padres most recently on Oct. 2, 2022, holding San Diego to one run on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts over seven innings in a win


Hill has faced the Dodgers only twice in his 19-year career and is 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two career starts

With their 8-3 win over the Dodgers on Saturday, the Padres beat their rival for just the second time in eight meetings this season. At the start of play Sunday, San Diego stands nine games behind Los Angeles in the National League West but only three games out of the final wild-card spot in the NL


The Padres are entering a rough spot of the season, however, and will play their next 18 games after the Dodgers leave town against teams in the playoff race. That includes 10 games against the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks, who stand ahead of the Padres in the wild-card race

--Field Level Medi