Dodgers-Padres Preview

Mike Bolsinger credits an increase in confidence for his surprising run since securing a spot in the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation.

The San Diego Padres had the misfortune of seeing him at his best.

The right-hander takes the mound as the Dodgers look to deal James Shields his first defeat of the season in Sunday's series finale at Petco Park.

Bolsinger (4-1, 2.08 ERA) has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts, most recently allowing two runs and three hits while striking out eight over seven innings in a 9-3 win over Arizona on Monday.

The Diamondbacks traded Bolsinger to the Dodgers (36-26) in the offseason and he's only held a rotation spot since being recalled from the minors May 12.

"In Arizona, it had more to do with me," said Bolsinger, who went 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 games as a rookie in 2014. "I went out there with a bad mentality. I'd have a bad start and thought: 'If I pitched bad, I'm going to get sent down.' But you can't think like that. It's crazy to see how much I've kind of grown up mentally in just one year. My mentality is so different than it was last year."

San Diego hasn't noticed too drastic of a change. Bolsinger gave up two runs and three hits in six innings while with Arizona the first time he faced the Padres (32-32) on June 29 before suffering a tough 2-1 loss.

The right-hander was even better May 23, giving up a leadoff single in the first then retiring the final 23 batters he faced while striking out eight in a 2-0 win in the best start of his short career.

James Shields turned in his own solid effort the following day, giving up three runs in seven innings to beat the Dodgers 11-3. He allowed two runs and struck out eight in six innings the first time he faced Los Angeles on April 6, and he'll look to continue his unbeaten run in this contest.

Shields (7-0, 3.79), the only pitcher in the majors with at least seven starts not to suffer a loss, rolled through five innings against Atlanta on Tuesday, then was charged with five runs and was removed with one out in the sixth of San Diego's 6-5 loss.

The right-hander went 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in his previous five outings.

"For the most part I was making pitches all night long and keeping them off balance the best I could," Shields said. "But like I said, we're up 5-0 going into that inning. I need to do a better job bearing down out there."

Justin Upton came through Saturday, homering with two outs in the eighth to give the Padres a 2-1 victory. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly challenged that a fan reached over the wall, but the homer was upheld after a short review.

Upton has five home runs - including a grand slam - and 15 RBIs in 11 games against the Dodgers this season.

"That's what makes the game fun, when you are in pressure situations," Upton said. "I think you ask most guys and they enjoy those situations."

NL West-leading Los Angeles had a four-game winning streak snapped. Yasmani Grandal, whom the Padres traded for Matt Kemp in the offseason, homered against his former team.

The Dodgers are just 4-8 on the road since May 19.

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