The Los Angeles Dodgers will do anything to string together some victories.
Offering to pitch on short rest, veteran Chris Capuano tries to help the visiting Dodgers win consecutive games for the first time in a little more than two weeks Sunday against the San Diego Padres .
Zack Greinke allowed one run over eight innings and got homers from Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez in Los Angeles' 6-1 win at San Diego on Saturday. It was Greinke's first outing against the Padres (38-37) since he broke his collarbone in a brawl with Carlos Quentin in April.
It's also the fourth win in 13 games for the Dodgers (31-42), who will try to split the four-game set by winning back-to-back contests for the first time since June 6-7."You hope this is the start of something special, a run that gets us back into the thick of things," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Then again, we've thought that before and said that before and it hasn't happened. We just need to go do it. It's time for us to start playing better."
With victories at a premium and manager Don Mattingly opting not to pitch talented rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu on short rest, Capuano (2-4, 4.62 ERA) stepped up to the challenge.
The left-hander, who turns 35 in August, has not started on three days' rest following a start since 2005. He threw 84 pitches Wednesday when he came off his second 2013 stint on the disabled list to allow three hits in six innings of a 6-0 win at Yankee Stadium.
"Obviously, there's a sense of urgency there," Mattingly told the Dodgers' official website. "He sees we're not putting wins on the board, and he wants to change it. I like the fact he wants to do it. I still wouldn't do it unless everybody thought it was OK and everybody checked off."
After throwing 2 2-3 scoreless innings of relief against the Padres this season, Capuano gave up five runs in two innings of a 9-2 loss to San Diego on April 16.
Gonzalez's homer is his only hit in 12 at-bats in this series against his former team.
Ramirez, meanwhile, is 10 for 18 with two homers and six RBIs in five contests after going 3 for 20 in his first nine games following a monthlong stint on the DL.
Chase Headley had two of the five hits Saturday for the Padres, whose eight-game home winning streak ended with their third defeat in 12 overall.
Headley is 4 for 11 in the series, and 4 for 10 with a double and a home run against Capuano.
San Diego's Andrew Cashner (5-3, 3.56) is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 appearances against the Dodgers, but this will be the first time he'll face them as a starter.
The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.65 ERA as a starter at home this season, compared to 1-2 with a 4.37 ERA in six on the road. Cashner overcame a season-high 10 hits to allow three runs and strike out six in 6 2-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 5-4 loss at San Francisco on Tuesday."I threw the ball well, though there are a couple of pitches I'd like back," Cashner said.
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||3||.333||1||0||0||0||0||.333||.666||.333|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|June 12, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Strained shoulder|
|June 11, 2013||Scott Van Slyke||15-Day DL||Left shoulder bursitis|
|June 08, 2013||Ted Lilly||Day-to-Day||Neck discomfort|
|June 07, 2013||Hanley Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 05, 2013||Ted Lilly||15-Day DL||Neck sprain|
|June 05, 2013||Mark Ellis||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|San Diego Padres|
|June 22, 2013||Clayton Richard||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|June 17, 2013||Everth Cabrera||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|June 15, 2013||Carlos Quentin||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|June 11, 2013||Cameron Maybin||Day-to-Day||Sore knee|
|June 10, 2013||Cameron Maybin||15-Day DL||Strained left knee|
|June 10, 2013||Jedd Gyorko||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers were celebrating Adrian Gonzalez 's tiebreaking home run when the crowd's roar directed attention back to the field.
Hanley Ramirez sent the next pitch out, too, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday and a split the four-game series.
"Hanley's home run was the after-party that keeps the celebration going," Gonzalez said. "This win was a big one for us. We needed to split the series and build some positive momentum. I'm glad we were able to do that."
Gonzalez broke a 1-all tie with a drive to right field off closer Huston Street , and Ramirez hit the next pitch to right-center. It was the second home run in two days for both players.
"We're 2-0 when Hanley and I homer in the same game," Gonzalez said. "We need to keep that trend going. We need to produce in the middle of the lineup."
The Dodgers also got solid efforts on the mound. Chris Capuano threw five shutout innings on short rest and a shaky bullpen held up when Padres relievers could not.
"A lot of good stuff happened today," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We got a solid start and clutch hitting from the middle of our lineup. That's what you want. That's what you should expect from this club."
The Dodgers have been beset by injuries - Matt Kemp , Carl Crawford and Ted Lilly remain out - but Mattingly doesn't want to use that as a crutch. He believes the Dodgers are healthy enough now to win consistently.
"We are pretty much at full strength," Mattingly said. "There are no excuses at this point. We have the talent in the middle of the order to produce in a big way. It's nice when those thumpers come through for us in the clutch."
Street (0-4) has given up 10 home runs in 26 1-3 innings this season. Last year, he allowed two in 39 innings.
"Bottom line ... it's location," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Huston is a guy who changes speeds. He has impeccable control. This year, at times, it's been spotty. We have to get him to the point where he's consistently hitting his spots and making his pitches."
Brandon League (3-3) got the last out in the eighth and Kenley Jansen earned his fourth save.
Ramirez kept up his torrid hitting of late. He is 11 for 22 with six runs, seven RBIs and two homers in his last six games.
The Dodgers were in position to win because of Capuano, who volunteered to start on short rest just days after returning from the disabled list. He was healthy, able and up to the task. The left-hander threw five shutout innings, struck out five and walked none. He let only two runners reach scoring position and was pulled before the sixth due to a 75-pitch limit. He threw 74.
Los Angeles needed someone to start on short rest after playing a doubleheader Wednesday against the New York Yankees . Capuano pitched six shutout innings that day, showing no ill effects from the strained left calf that sidelined him on May 29.
"I knew that I had a relatively stress free outing in New York where I threw just 80 pitches," Capuano said. "I knew we were going to need a starter for Sunday and I thought I was the guy to take that responsibility. Given the way my body and my arm felt, the assignment made perfect sense."
Capuano has pitched 11 shutout innings since returning from the DL, a run he credits to a mechanical tweak that has improved location and the life on his fastball.
Padres starter Andres Cashner had life on most pitches in one of the best starts of his young career. He allowed one run in eight innings. He generated 18 outs on the ground with efficiency uncharacteristic of a strikeout pitcher. He fanned only two, but was rarely challenged by the Dodgers.
"The best part about it was the efficiency," Cashner said. "I was able to keep my pitch count down and I threw some good pitches when I was behind in the count."
The Dodgers have won two straight, but haven't won three in a row since April 7th. Buried in last place, the Dodgers must go on a run to get back in the NL West race. Mattingly knows they need to do it soon.
"This is a time where we need to get on a roll and we build some momentum," he said. "We've seemed to stall in the past. This time, hopefully we won't."
NOTES: Kemp went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts Saturday in his first rehab game with Triple-A Albuquerque. He was the DH and will play center field throughout the rest of his assignment, the final stage of his recovery from a hamstring injury. It's scheduled for three games, but Mattingly said Sunday that the stint could be extended to ensure Kemp's timing at the plate is right. OF Scott Van Slyke (shoulder) also is on a rehab assignment with Albuquerque. ... The Padres recalled RHPs Miles Mikolas and Brad Brach from Triple-A Tucson and optioned RHPs Anthony Bass and Brad Boxberger back to their top farm team. The moves were made to add fresh arms to the bullpen, with RHPs Tim Stauffer and Tyson Ross unavailable following extended outings Friday night, when LHP Clayton Richard was removed with an injury in the first inning. ... There is no exact timetable for Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko (groin) to start a minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Lake Elsinore, but manager Bud Black believes it will be sometime next week.