This time through the rotation, the tougher task for Chad Billingsley isn't following up on a fine start from ace Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, but a fine start of his own.

Billingsley was dominant in 8 1/3 innings against the Padres in his 2012 debut, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits and one walk in a 6-0 win Thursday. His second start comes on Wednesday in the middle game of three against the Pirates.

"I've probably faced him 100 times, and I've never seen him pitch like that," said San Diego's Chase Headley. "He's a great pitcher, an All-Star, but we couldn't figure him out."

Left-hander Erik Bedard goes for Pittsburgh after a strong first outing of his own, a one-run, seven-inning performance against the Phillies on Opening Day -- a day when the Bucs were held scoreless by, who else, Roy Halladay.

"All you can do is try matching up zeros with Roy Halladay," Bedard said.

A career American Leaguer before this year, Bedard's made one career start against the Dodgers, start No. 10 of his career in June 2004. He gave up one run in five innings of a 4-3 loss for the Orioles,

The Pirates (2-2) haven't been able to rev their bats before the late innings so far. In three of their four games, they've been held to two hits through six innings -- including Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Kershaw -- but the Pirates still have won two of those games.

Billingsley isn't typically a dominant April pitcher, with a 4.01 ERA lifetime. Bedard's April ERA is 4.08. Lifetime, Billingsley is 5-1 against the Pirates in six starts and four relief appearances, and he's allowed them just two home runs.

Pirates: Morton set for weekend return
• Right-hander Charlie Morton (offseason hip surgery) threw 98 pitches in Monday night's start for Triple-A Indianapolis in Columbus, striking out eight while allowing six hits and a run in 7 2/3 innings. The Pirates have a three-game weekend set with the Giants in San Francisco, and Morton's fifth day would be Saturday.

• Shortstop Clint Barmes, 0-for-12 to start the season, is 4-for-11 against Billingsley lifetime.

Dodgers: Lilly on track for Saturday
• Left-hander Ted Lilly, on the disabled list with neck stiffness, remains scheduled to pitch on Saturday at Dodger Stadium against San Diego despite the six earned runs he allowed in as many innings in a Class A game on Sunday.

• A cold kept Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully from calling Tuesday's home opener.

• James Loney is 0-for-14 to start the season. "He's the same as he was in Spring Training and the end of last year," manager Don Mattingly said. "At this point, I'm still feeling good with James. My concern is that the next thing you know, he's got a toe tap and his hands are lower and his feet are spread out. But I think he feels all right."

Worth noting
• Including Tuesday, the Dodgers have the National League's best winning percentage against Pittsburgh over the last 10 seasons, going 51-21 (.708) against the Pirates since 2002. The Dodgers haven't dropped a season set against Pittsburgh since 2000. Comments