HOUSTON — The Dodgers are 3-9 against the lowly San Diego Padres, including 1-5 at Qualcomm Stadium.
The teams have seven games in September, so the Dodgers weren't pleased to learn Tuesday that the Padres had acquired star outfielder Brian Giles from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"He's one of the premier outfielders in baseball," right fielder Shawn Green said. "We've struggled with the Padres even when he wasn't there, and we have to play better against them regardless of who's in their lineup, but it's a great move."
Center fielder Dave Roberts agreed.
"Giles has been productive his whole career," he said. "Having a guy like that in the middle of their lineup, to go along with [Phil] Nevin and [Ryan] Klesko, definitely makes them a better team. It really makes a statement." General Manager Dan Evans pursued Giles, who is among the major league's most consistent run producers, before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline, baseball executives said.
But Evans backed away from the table because Pittsburgh General Manager Dave Littlefield wanted left-hander Odalis Perez and the Dodgers' top two pitching prospects -- double-A right-handers Edwin Jackson and Greg Miller.
In 31 games against the Dodgers, Giles is batting .310 with six home runs and 28 runs batted in.
The left-handed batter has slugging and on-base percentages of .552 and .391, respectively.
"Any time you get a guy like him, it's going to make your team better," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "It will probably make it tougher [for the Dodgers], but they always play us tough.
"We need to play better against the Padres and the [National League West] if we're going to get to where we want to get. But obviously, he presents a big bat in that lineup, and they've been a thorn in our side."
Manager Jim Tracy is campaigning for closer Eric Gagne and shortstop Cesar Izturis to receive league-wide recognition for their outstanding performances.
Tracy said Gagne should receive the NL Cy Young Award -- and strong MVP consideration if the Dodgers earn the league's wild-card berth -- and Izturis the Gold Glove award at his position.
"If we reach the playoffs with the way things have gone ... he would have played a very significant role in our journey," Tracy said of Gagne, the team's undisputed MVP.
Izturis' stellar play defensively has been among the keys to the Dodgers remaining in the wild-card chase despite their shortcomings on offense.
"Defensively, he's the best," Tracy said. "I didn't say offensively, I didn't say the complete package. Defensively, he's the best."
Outfielder Jeromy Burnitz sat out his fourth consecutive game because of a strained right groin but hopes to return to the lineup tonight.
Burnitz said he was "good to go" after running at about 80%, and he's eager to get back on the field.
First baseman Fred McGriff, sidelined most of the season because of injuries, hit his first homer -- a two-run shot in the first -- since June 6, his 11th of the season and the 489th of his career.... Odalis Perez is the first Dodger starter to give up at least 10 runs in a game since Carlos Perez did in 1999 against Arizona.