Dodgers starting pitcher Chris Capuano held the San Diego Padres scoreless… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)
All good things come those who wait. And wait.
The Dodgers thought they had assembled an impressive lineup for 2013 to support a top pitching staff, yet through almost half of the season, the offense has been a humongous disappointment. Runs were hard to come on a daily basis, power almost rumor.
But on Sunday, in their 74th game of the season, the Dodgers finally managed to do something that had escaped them all season: hit back-to-back home runs.
At least they had excellent timing, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez powering consecutive home runs in the ninth inning to break open a tie game to lead the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory over the Padres at Petco Park. It was the 10th home run of the season for Gonzalez, and fourth in only 19 games for Ramirez.
They not only hit back-to-back homers, but they came on consecutive pitches from San Diego closer Huston Street.
Both players also hit homers in Saturday’s game.
The victory allowed the Dodgers to split the four-game series in San Diego. They return home Monday to open a three-game series against the Giants.
Brandon League earned the victory to even his record at 3-3, while Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save.
In need a starting pitcher Sunday, Chris Capuano had volunteered to throw on three days' rest. Capuano had previously thrown on short rest only four times in his nine-year career, which would make it noteworthy in itself.
But Capuano had thrown just one game since coming off the disabled list with a sore shoulder. Yet, since he had pitched so efficiently Wednesday against the Yankees — throwing just 84 pitches in six scoreless innings — the Dodgers went back to him.
And he responded with five more scoreless innings.
In the two starts since coming off the DL, Capuano has allowed only seven hits in 11 innings, without walking a batter while striking out nine.
Capuano, however, was matched by San Diego’s hard-throwing Andrew Cashner. When Capuano left after throwing 74 pitches in five innings, the game was still looking for its first run.
The Dodgers finally broke through in the seventh after Gonzalez opened with a double. Ramirez bounced out to second to advance Gonzalez to third, and Andre Ethier bounced out. But Juan Uribe came through with a double down the right-field line to score Gonzalez.
It turned out to be a brief lead.
In the bottom of the inning, every Dodgers fan’s favorite Padre, Carlos Quentin, led off with a home run against Peter Moylan.
And it remained a 1-1 game until the ninth inning, when, unexpectedly, some first-time power erupted.