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Josh Bell is pumped after his first-inning home run put the Padres up 2-0. They never relinquished he lead and beat the Mets 7-1. Photo credit: Screen shot, ESPN

The San Diego Padres will attempt to even their National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at one game apiece Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.

Right-hander Yu Darvish will pitch for the Padres against left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

“We always feel good when Yu is on the mound,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “He has been about as consistent a starter in the National League this year.”

Darvish was 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA in the regular season, winning six consecutive starts before losing his final regular-season start. His 16 victories were tied for fifth in Major League Baseball.

Darvish was 1-2 with a 2.52 ERA in four starts against Los Angeles in the regular season.

“I think I’ve been a little bit lucky too facing these guys,” said Darvish, who is 3-5 with a 2.47 ERA in 10 starts lifetime against Los Angeles.

Darvish opened the postseason by limiting the New York Mets to one run and six hits over seven innings in a 7-1 victory in Game 1 of a wild-card series Friday.

Kershaw said he considers Darvish a friend.

“We used to play catch in the offseason some in Dallas,” Kershaw said Tuesday.

Kershaw and Darvish were Dodgers teammates for slightly more than three months in 2017.

“I have a lot of respect for the way he pitches, the way he goes about it,” Kershaw said. “Obviously, a tough challenge for us.”

Kershaw was 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA in the regular season and was selected to his ninth All-Star team. He was 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts against the Padres in the regular season and is 23-9 with a 2.03 ERA in 45 starts against them lifetime.

Kershaw did not pitch in the postseason last year because of left forearm discomfort.

The game is set to begin at 5:37 p.m. and will be televised by FS1.

The Dodgers were 5-3 winners Tuesday in Game 1 of the best-of-five series, taking a 5-0 lead through three innings, then withstanding the Padres’ comeback attempt, with four relievers limiting the Padres to three hits over the final four innings.

Trea Turner opened the scoring with a one-out solo homer in the first inning. After Freddie Freeman struck out, Will Smith doubled and scored on Max Muncy’s single.

Los Angeles combined doubles by Turner, Smith and Gavin Lux, a walk to Muncy and an error by Padres first baseman Wil Myers on a ground ball hit by Cody Bellinger for three runs in the third.

The Padres scored all three of their runs in the fifth. Myers led off with a homer. Jake Cronenworth followed with a double, moved to third on Ha- Seong Kim’s double and scored on Trent Grisham’s ground out. Kim advanced to third on the ground out and scored on Austin Nola’s sacrifice fly.

Dodgers starter Julio Urías was credited with the victory, allowing three runs and four hits in five innings, striking out six and not walking a batter. Chris Martin, the fifth Los Angeles pitcher, pitched the ninth for the save, allowing a two-out single to Cronenworth, then getting Kim to ground out for the final out.

Padres starter Mike Clevinger was charged with the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) and six hits in 2 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking two.

“When you throw pitches in the middle of the plate, they take advantage of it, and that’s what I saw early on with him,” Melvin said. “At times he had a good breaking ball and fastball, but they hit his mistakes.”

–City News Service