SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers talked the talk Saturday. They had won, and they talked about how this victory could launch them on the winning streak that could save their season.
"We've said that how many times this year?" catcher A.J. Ellis said.
Too many to count, so let the Dodgers simply enjoy their 6-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers won this game in June the way they drew it up in December, with a dominant start from Zack Greinke and home runs from Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez.
The drama amounted to nothing. Greinke faced Quentin for the first time since the two brawled here in April, with both players booed in pregame introductions. When Quentin batted in the first inning, the boos were long and loud, with a large contingent of Dodgers fans in the sellout crowd.
Quentin did not touch Greinke, pun intended. Greinke struck him out twice and got him to ground out once, all without incident.
But, while the fans looked for brushbacks and staredowns that never happened, the Dodgers looked to the Great White North for inspiration. If the Dodgers were not the most disappointing club in the major leagues, then the Toronto Blue Jays were.
"The next thing you know, they put 10 wins in a row together," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. "They're flying high now. Ten days ago, they didn't feel like that."
The Dodgers have yet to win more than three consecutive games. They have not even won two consecutive games in the last two weeks.
But they saw hope in Greinke, who pitched eight innings and had eight strikeouts, both season highs. What if he had done that all season?
"Too often, it will backfire if you try to carry your team on your back," Greinke said. "It takes more than just one."
The Dodgers scored four runs in the sixth inning on two errors, three walks, and three hits, including the first home run from Gonzalez in 19 days.
The Dodgers also got a home run from Ramirez, who is batting .367 with three home runs in 18 games. He has been on the disabled list twice this season, but what if he had been healthy?
"We would be in a better position," Ramirez said, "but that's not the point. We've got a long way to go."
Still, his teammates have noticed.
"They keep telling me the lineup looks so much better when I'm in it," Ramirez said.
Ramirez lined a foul ball so hard it knocked over third base coach Tim Wallach, leaving Wallach with a bruised thigh.
"I'm going to sign it," Ramirez said, jokingly.
But the ball everyone was talking about was the fair ball, the home run that landed on the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building behind left field. The Padres said the ball traveled 413 feet, an estimate the Dodgers dismissed as laughably low.
"It would be nice to hear what it really is," Greinke said.
The problem was that the ball — a rising line drive, not a majestic arc — collided with the building façade.
"If he gets it up in the air, if he gets any elevation on it, it goes over that building," Mattingly said. "It goes into the street somewhere. That would be really cool."