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Half of this duo may not be available in L.A. as Manny Machado has an ailing elbow. Photo credit: @Padres via Twitter

A September showdown between rising San Diego and Los Angeles, the perennial division power. Prime 2023 viewing for sure.

It didn’t turn out that way, as the Padres head to L.A. to face the hated Dodgers after dropping two of three in Houston, including Sunday’s 12-2 drubbing by the Astros.

The Friars had put a run on the board to trail 4-1 when the Astros exploded in the bottom of the sixth inning. Houston scored eight runs after the first six batters had hits, one of them Kyle Tucker, who went on to have two triples in the inning.

Starter Matt Waldron took the loss. Tim Hill, who recorded no outs, gave up six runs in the Astros’ big inning and Rich Hill two.

Luis Campusano, catching now that Gary Sánchez is out for the year, had a particularly miserable day, going hitless in four at-bats with two errors, including one that led to three unearned runs in the sixth.

Eguy Rosario, though, enjoyed his first big-league home run, a solo shot in the seventh.

The Padres head to L.A. 10 games under .500 and six games out of the wild-card picture with 18 to play, to face the Dodgers, with the second-best record in the National League.

They will do so without Manny Machado at full strength, as he has an ailing elbow and is resting it by DH’ing. He sat, however, on Sunday and his status is unclear Monday.

“If he’s not in there today, I don’t know what the chances are of tomorrow,” manager Bob Melvin told

The Padres will send Pedro Avila, Michael Wacha and Blake Snell to the mound in L.A.