Once thought to be one of baseball's most disappointing teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers have surged into the NL West lead and are on the verge of their longest road winning streak in 58 years.
The Toronto Blue Jays still hold that distinction, as they'll be attempting to avoid a seventh straight defeat in Wednesday night's series finale.
Los Angeles was 12 games below .500 after a loss to San Diego on June 21, but it has since won 22 of 27 after rallying for a 10-9 victory Tuesday.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run homer while Andre Either and Mark Ellis also drove in three runs for the Dodgers (52-47), who have scored 33 runs over the last three games and hold a slim lead over Arizona atop the division.
"We're starting to be able to throw some big innings together," manager Don Mattingly said. "If you can get to the point where you don't feel like you're out of games, I think that's important."
A victory Wednesday would give the franchise its first 10-game winning streak away from home since the then-Brooklyn Dodgers won their first 11 road games in 1955.
Ricky Nolasco , who is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in three starts since being acquired from Miami on July 7, will be on the mound looking to help Los Angeles accomplish that feat.
Nolasco (6-9, 3.75 ERA), who gave up two runs in 5 1-3 innings of the Dodgers' 3-2 win over Washington on Friday, was one of the few highly paid Marlins not sent to Toronto in a blockbuster trade in November that included former teammates Mark Buehrle , Josh Johnson , Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio .
The right-hander's only start versus Toronto came in 2009, though he's had some experience against some of the current Blue Jays. Reyes is hitting .340 with three homers, a triple and double, while Melky Cabrera is 6 for 13 (.462) with a homer off Nolasco.
Cabrera went 0 for 4 to snap his seven-game hitting streak Tuesday as the slumping Blue Jays (45-54) have dropped the first five of their 10-game homestand.
"It doesn't get any worse than that, considering where we're at," manager John Gibbons said.
Reyes hit a two-run homer and finished with a season-best three RBIs, but Toronto was unable to end its season-high skid despite holding a players-only meeting before the game.
"Maybe it sparks something, maybe they air some things out, maybe they feel they need to try and do some things different, whatever it might be," Gibbons told the team's official website earlier Tuesday. "If the results change, it was a good meeting. If the results don't change, it wasn't a good meeting. It's that simple."
Gibbons will turn to Esmil Rogers (3-4, 3.84) as Toronto looks to get on track.
Rogers is 2-2 with a 3.62 ERA in nine starts this season after giving up four runs - all solo homers to match a career worst allowed - in 5 2-3 innings of Toronto's 8-5 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday.
Gibbons, though, felt the right-hander pitched well otherwise.
"When he was on, he was dominating," Gibbons said. "He never really got into trouble, it was just the solo home runs."
Rogers hasn't had much success against the Dodgers, going 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in three starts while pitching for Colorado in 2010 and '11.
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||2||.500||1||0||0||0||0||.500||1.000||.500|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|July 23, 2013||Jose Dominguez||15-Day DL||Left quad strain|
|July 13, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left hip|
|July 11, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left hip|
|July 07, 2013||Stephen Fife||15-Day DL||Right shoulder bursitis|
|July 06, 2013||Matt Kemp||15-Day DL||AC joint irritation, left shoulder|
|July 06, 2013||Matt Kemp||15-Day DL||AC joint irratation, left shoulder|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||60-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|June 01, 2013||Brandon Morrow||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Left ankle sprain|
TORONTO (AP) -- Watching his Los Angeles Dodgers waste opportunity after opportunity, manager Don Mattingly was feeling nervous.
He needn't have worried. These days, the Dodgers can do no wrong, even if it's late.
Mark Ellis hit a two-run homer to highlight a five-run 10th inning as the Dodgers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 on Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
"We're rolling right now. We're going to see how long this roll lasts," said Los Angeles reliever Brandon League , who beat his former team for the second straight game.
Yasiel Puig also went deep in the 10th for the Dodgers, who have won six straight and 23 of 28 to go from last in the NL West on June 21 to first place.
Los Angeles won its 10th straight road game, the franchise's longest streak since the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first 11 away from home in 1955.
League (5-3) pitched two innings and Kenley Jansen finished for the Dodgers, who left 13 runners on base and went 2 for 17 with runners in scoring position.
"It was one of those games where you're going `Man, we're letting too many opportunities get away from us,"' Mattingly said. "That game scared me from the second on, just the way it went. It's nice to come back and get that."
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the second but scored just one. They stranded runners at first and second in the fourth and left the bases loaded in the fifth, coming up empty both times.
"Early in the year we didn't come back in any games, I don't think," Mark Ellis said. "Lately we've been able to do that. That's the sign of a good team."
Juan Perez (1-2) gave up all five runs and four hits in the 10th inning for Toronto, snapping his streak of 22 innings without an earned run since being called up from Triple-A Buffalo in late May.
The Blue Jays were swept for the second straight series, and have lost a season-high seven consecutive games and 14 of 18.
Toronto led 8-3 after six innings Tuesday before the Dodgers rallied to win 10-9, but manager John Gibbons said this one was even more cruel.
"I thought we were rock bottom last night," Gibbons said. "I guess not."
This time, the Blue Jays were up 3-2 heading into the ninth before the Dodgers rallied against closer Casey Janssen . Puig drew a leadoff walk before Janssen struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez , then got two strikes on Andre Ethier . When Ethier hit a sinking liner to center, Colby Rasmus charged the ball but couldn't catch it, then had it bounce off his glove, allowing Puig to score.
"I saw with Hanley and Gonzo that (Janssen) kind of forced them to chase some bad pitches out of the zone," Ethier said. "I was just trying to get something over the plate to drive."
The blown save was Janssen's second in 20 opportunities.
"I shouldn't have walked Puig in the first place," Janssen said. "Leadoff walks always hurt and tonight it got me."
In the 10th, Juan Uribe drew a one-out walk and Ellis homered into the second deck in left, his fifth. One out later, Puig hit his ninth homer and first since July 2.
Gonzalez walked, Ramirez doubled and Ethier followed with a two-run double.
"It felt good to win this game after having so many opportunities early," Ellis said.
Toronto's bullpen allowed two home runs for the second straight game. Toronto relievers allowed 18 earned runs in the three games against Los Angeles.
"It's frustrating, it's demoralizing but we've got to come back tomorrow," Gibbons said.
Ethier went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and Puig was 3 for 5 with a walk and two RBIs.
"He looked more like himself tonight," Mattingly said of Puig.
The Blue Jays broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth against Ronald Belisario when pinch runner Rajai Davis scored from second on a throwing error by Gonzalez.
Los Angeles opened the scoring on Uribe's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the second, and Puig made it 2-0 with an RBI double in the third.
Dodgers starter Ricky Nolasco held the Blue Jays without a hit until the bottom of the fifth, when Rasmus and Maicer Izturis drew consecutive walks and Brett Lawrie drove them in with a two-out double off the wall.
Making his fourth start since being acquired from Miami on July 7, Nolasco allowed two runs and two hits in 5 2-3 innings. He matched a season-high with four walks and struck out five.
Toronto starter Esmil Rogers allowed two runs and 10 hits in seven innings, matching his longest outing of the season. The right-hander, who walked one and struck out four, has not won since June 18 against Colorado, a span of six starts.
"His back against the wall all night long," Gibbons said.
Before the game, the Dodgers placed outfielder Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list and activated left-hander Ted Lilly . Kemp's move is backdated to July 22, meaning he's eligible to return Aug. 6, but manager Don Mattingly said Kemp might need more time.
NOTES: The game was briefly halted in the fourth after home plate umpire Will Little was hit on the left arm by a pitch from Nolasco. Little remained in the game, but left the field for treatment between the top and bottom of the sixth. ... Blue Jays RHP Brandon Morrow will have more tests on his sore right forearm. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos said it's hard to be optimistic that Morrow will be able to return this season.