Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon hits a two-run single during the sixth inning… (Rob Tringali / Getty Images )
That was a Dodgers game, all right. Back and forth, mostly strong pitching, limited offense but timely hitting. And, oh yeah, they won by one run again.
Narrow victories have proved to be their 2012 winning formula, and it was more of the same Wednesday night in Philadelphia, the Dodgers edging the Phillies 6-5 at Citizens Bank Park.
This time the hero of the night award went to Dee Gordon, back in the leadoff spot and again looking comfortable there. Gordon looped a two-run single in the sixth to give the Dodgers the lead.
Chris Capuano (8-2) went five innings and allowed only four hits. Trouble was, three of them were homers.
But the Dodgers bullpen responded, Todd Coffey, Scott Elbert and Josh Lindblom kept the Phillies scoreless before turning the ninth over to a laboring Kenley Jansen.
Jansen earned his ninth save and third in as many games, but this one was a struggle. He hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch and gave up a run-scoring double to Ty Wigginton. The Phillies had two runners on when, on his 32nd pitch, he got Brian Schneider to pop up to end it.
The Dodgers have won the first three games of the four-game series against the Phillies, and breaking their opponents' little cheesesteak hearts in the process. All three victories have been by a single run.
The Dodgers are now 16-9 in one-run games this season, the best record in baseball. That means almost half their total victories (36) have been by a single run.
They fell behind 1-0 early when Shane Victorino hit a solo home run off Capuano in the second inning, but the Dodgers came back with two of their own in the third.
Adam Kennedy started the rally with a single off right-hander Kyle Kendrick and scored when Tony Gwynn Jr. tripled off the right-field wall. First baseman John Mayberry bobbled a Capuano bouncer for an error that allowed Gwynn to score.
A walk and hit batter loaded the bases with one out, but the Dodgers missed a big inning when suddenly struggling Andre Ethier (0 for his last 17) flied out and A.J. Ellis bounced into a fielder’s choice.
That appeared costly when the Phillies regained the lead in the fifth on a solo homer by Wigginton and a two-run shot by Jimmy Rollins. Capuano had allowed only six home runs in his previous 11 starts this season.
The Dodgers, though, have been nothing if not scrappy this season and came right back with the three-run sixth after Ellis singled with one out and James Loney doubled him to third.
Kennedy struck out, and the Phillies intentionally walked Gwynn to load the bases with two outs, which proved a costly when Kendrick walked Jerry Hairston Jr. to force in a run.
The Phillies then called on reliever Raul Valdes, and Gordon sent his first pitch into right for his two-run single.
The Dodgers added what proved to be a huge insurance run in the ninth when reliever Jake Diekman walked Loney with the bases loaded.