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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Dodgers battle back again in 6-5 win over Phillies

Once again, the offense comes from surprise sources as the Dodgers hang on to improve to 16-9 in one-run games.

June 06, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

PHILADELPHIA — These victories are becoming more improbable by the day.

Chris Capuano served up three home runs and lasted only five innings Wednesday night. Andre Ethier was 0 for 5 with two strikeouts, extending his hitless streak to four games, his longest this season. Bobby Abreu was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts.

The Dodgers didn't get the kind of starting pitching or middle-of-the-lineup production to which they are accustomed, but still managed to beat the Philadelphia Phillies for the third time in three nights, this time by a 6-5 margin.

"The way we fight, it's been awesome," first baseman James Loney said.

The Dodgers improved to 16-9 in one-run games and 36-21 overall, the best record in baseball. They maintained their four-game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West.

Through the first six games of a three-city, 10-game trip, they are 4-2. Only a few days ago, this trip looked as if it would end their run in first place. When the Dodgers opened the second leg of the trip in Philadelphia, they had lost six of their last seven games and their lead over the Giants was down to three games.

The Dodgers responded to a three-run fifth inning by the Phillies on Wednesday to score three runs of their own in the top of the sixth and reclaim the lead, 5-4. The runs came on a bases-loaded walk by Jerry Hairston Jr. and a two-run double by Dee Gordon.

Middle relievers Todd Coffey, Scott Elbert and Josh Lindblom combined to pitch three scoreless innings to preserve a one-run edge.

Loney drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth inning to increase the margin to 6-4, setting the stage for Kenley Jansen's third save in as many days.

Jansen's fourth appearance in the last five days started with a 12-pitch at-bat by catcher Carlos Ruiz. The at-bat started with Ruiz falling behind, 1-2, but ended with him being hit by a pitch.

"What a great at-bat by Carlos Ruiz," Jansen said. "It drains you out a little bit."

Two at-bats later, Ruiz was doubled in by Ty Wigginton to close the gap to 6-5.

"You just have to go out there and battle, even if you get a little tired and your stuff isn't that good that day," Jansen said.

Jansen struck out pinch hitter Jim Thome, walked Mike Fontenot and forced Ben Schneider to pop up to Loney at first base to end the game.

Asked how he felt after the game, Jansen leaned back in his chair and replied, "A little exhausted right now."

Of the bullpen's contribution, Jansen said, "I'm proud, man. I'm proud of everybody. We've all been working hard every day."

The Dodgers are 27-2 when they lead after seven innings and 29-3 when they lead after eight.

Their offense continues to come from unlikely sources.

Elian Herrera had a double, drew two walks and scored the Dodgers' ninth-inning insurance run. Tony Gwynn Jr. was one for three with a triple, a walk, a run batted in and two runs scored. Adam Kennedy was one for three with a run.

Loney, who was benched in three of the previous five games, was two for four with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run. One of Loney's hits came against left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo. Loney entered the game batting .200 against left-handers.

Meanwhile, the Phillies remained a mess. With Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley sidelined with injuries, they dropped their fifth consecutive game and remained stuck in last place in the NL East.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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