Gonzalez likely needs no extra motivation for the club's next series.
Gonzalez is set to face his original major league team for the first time since joining the Dodgers in Monday night's opener with the San Diego Padres at Chavez Ravine.
Gonzalez had mostly struggled in his first eight games with Los Angeles (72-63) since being acquired from Boston, batting .182 with a homer and six RBIs. Against Arizona on Sunday, though, he came through in the clutch. His second double of the game scored the tying and winning runs with one out in the ninth, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 victory.
Los Angeles won its second in a row following a 3-8 stretch to remain within 4 1/2 games of NL West-leading San Francisco."Sometimes that can get a team rolling," second baseman Mark Ellis said of the walk-off hit. "To build off it, you just got to have good at-bats."
With a lineup featuring Gonzalez, Matt Kemp , Shane Victorino , Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier , the Dodgers seem like they should be getting plenty of good at-bats, but that hasn't been the case lately. They've scored four runs or fewer in six of their last eight games."It's a matter of time before this offense gets clicking on all cylinders," Victorino said. "Sometimes it takes a certain time to get people going in the same direction."
Facing the Padres (62-73) could get Gonzalez, Ethier and Kemp going.
Gonzalez, a native of San Diego, hit .288 with 161 homers and 501 RBIs and was named to three All-Star teams while playing for the Padres from 2006-10. He was traded to the Red Sox prior to 2011, and when San Diego visited Boston in June last season the first baseman battered his former team, going 8 for 14 with a double and five RBIs in three games.
Ethier and Kemp have feasted on San Diego pitching this year, with the Dodgers winning eight of 12 meetings. Ethier is batting .311 with three home runs and 20 RBIs, while Kemp is hitting .528 with six homers and 15 RBIs in nine games.
The Dodgers will get their first look at the Padres' Andrew Werner (1-1, 3.00 ERA), who will make his third big league start.
Werner has allowed two runs and four hits over six innings in each of his first two outings. The left-hander struck out seven without walking a batter Tuesday, but got charged with a 2-0 loss to Atlanta.
Los Angeles counters with Joe Blanton (9-12, 4.95), who permitted three runs and 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings of Wednesday's 10-8 win over Colorado after going 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in his first four starts with the club.
The right-hander faced the Padres in April while pitching for Philadelphia, and gave up six runs - three earned - in six innings of a 6-1 loss. Chase Headley had an RBI double with a pair of walks in that game.
Headley had four hits and a career-best six RBIs in Sunday's 11-10 loss to Colorado, San Diego's third defeat in five games following an eight-game winning streak. The third baseman, who hit his 23rd homer Sunday, is batting .356 with 13 RBIs in his last 11 contests and is tied for the major league lead with 15 home runs since the All-Star break."We have seen the growth of the player this year," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Headley has five homers and 14 RBIs against the Dodgers this season.
|San Diego Padres|
|August 23, 2012||Jason Marquis||15-Day DL||Fractured left wrist|
|August 17, 2012||Nick Hundley||Day-to-Day||Bruised right knee|
|August 16, 2012||Nick Hundley||60-Day DL||Bruised right knee|
|August 11, 2012||Huston Street||15-Day DL||Strained left calf|
|July 31, 2012||Yasmani Grandal||15-Day DL||Strained oblique|
|July 31, 2012||Yasmani Grandal||15-Day DL||Strained oblique|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|September 02, 2012||Chris Withrow||60-Day DL||Recovery from torn pectoral muscle|
|September 01, 2012||Alfredo Silverio||60-Day DL||Recovery from auto accident, concussion|
|August 28, 2012||Matt Kemp||Day-to-Day||Left game - right knee contusion|
|August 28, 2012||Scott Elbert||15-Day DL||Left elbow inflammation|
|August 25, 2012||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Strained hip and back|
|August 25, 2012||Chad Billingsley||15-Day DL||Right elbow pain|
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Three games into September and the Los Angeles Dodgers keep winning the close ones.
A.J. Ellis singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning, giving them a 4-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night for their second consecutive walk-off win. The Dodgers' last five games have been decided by two runs or less, with three wins so far this month.
"Other than getting our heart rates up, we're not making it easy on ourselves," Andre Ethier said. "That feeling of knowing we can win these games late is being fortified better. It shows all the guys on this team we're not going to roll over. You got to go out there and earn it."
The Dodgers remained 4 1/2 games behind NL West-leading San Francisco and a half-game back of St. Louis for the second wild card spot.
"We know what we're chasing," Ethier said. "You can say you're not watching the scoreboard, but it's out there behind me in right field."
Ellis got the game-ending hit off Cory Burns (0-1) after two-out singles by Ethier and Luis Cruz , who went 4 for 5 with a career-high four hits. The Dodgers' 10th walk-off win of the season leads the NL.
"It's September, now it's time to go," said Ellis, who had his fourth career walk-off hit. "As long as we take care of business on our end, we'll be happy at the end of the month. A couple guys in the clubhouse called it fourth-quarter September. We just want to get in (the playoffs)."
The Dodgers celebrated a new tradition by shredding the jersey of the player with a walk-off hit, in this case Ellis, who found himself on the bottom of a dog pile.
"You're hoping to make it out healthy," he said.
Ethier tied the game 3-all with his 16th homer off Luke Gregerson with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
"I don't feel like I missed with that pitch or that I hung it or anything," Gregerson said. "I thought I put that pitch exactly where I wanted it - right on the outside edge of the plate and at his knees, but he just went out there and got it and put a good swing on it. That shows what he can do."
Brandon League (1-1) got the win with two innings of relief. He gave up one hit, struck out two and walked one.
Padres starter Andrew Werner allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, struck out a career-high eight and walked one in his third major league start. The left-hander got a Padres rally started in the seventh with his first big league hit, a one-out single. After Everth Cabrera flied out to center, pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe singled off the pitching hand of Dodgers lefty Randy Choate , who promptly left the game but said afterward that he wasn't hurt.
Choate was replaced by Belisario, who gave up a two-out single to Chase Headley that scored pinch-runner Clayton Richard , the scheduled starter for Wednesday's series finale, to give San Diego a 3-2 lead.
Hanley Ramirez homered - his 10th since joining the Dodgers - with two outs in the sixth on the first pitch from Werner to tie the game at 2.
Headley's 24th homer in the first gave San Diego a 2-0 lead. The Dodgers gained a run back in the fifth on Mark Ellis ' RBI single that scored Cruz, who singled, was sacrificed to second and scored when catcher John Baker couldn't secure the throw from left fielder Chris Denorfia in his glove.
Dodgers starter Joe Blanton gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out six and walked two. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth by striking out Cabrera to end the inning.
NOTES: Padres LF Carlos Quentin was a late scratch from the lineup with right knee irritation, with Denorfia starting in his place. Quentin pinch-hit in the 11th. ... Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has set his rotation for the team's weekend games at San Francisco. RHP Josh Beckett will start Friday, followed by LHP Chris Capuano on Saturday and LHP Clayton Kershaw on Sunday. ... Olympic champion gymnasts Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross each threw out ceremonial first pitches, with only Maroney getting the ball to the plate on a clean throw. Later, the trio boogied on the stadium's dance cam.