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Dodgers shoot for trifecta after beating Padres, 3-1

L.A. goes after its third victory in a row when it plays host to the San Francisco Giants on Monday. Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez hit home runs to support Chris Capuano against San Diego.

June 24, 2013|By Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
  • Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez belts a solo home run in the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres in during Sunday's game.
Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez belts a solo home run in the ninth inning… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)

SAN DIEGO — –- Chris Capuano could not remember the last time the Dodgers had won three consecutive games.

"How long?" he said.

The first week of the season. This is the 13th week of the season, with the Dodgers shooting for their third consecutive victory, and for the long-awaited streak that might vault them back into contention in the National League West.

"You can't put a string together without winning three," Manager Don Mattingly said. "We're not going to be able to be the team that we should look like if we can't put three together."

The top four teams in the NL West are separated by 31/2 games. Then there are the Dodgers, in last place and 81/2 games out after Sunday's 3-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.

For a day, or two, the boys in blue looked pretty good. Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez hit home runs on consecutive pitches in the ninth inning Sunday, breaking a 1-1 tie and stirring extended excitement in the visiting dugout.

"We were still celebrating my homer," Gonzalez said. "He kept the celebration going. It was like the after-party."

That marked the first time this season the Dodgers had hit consecutive home runs.

"Eh," Mattingly said. "You don't see it that often. It's not like it's a normal thing to see."

Come on, put a positive spin on it.

"Hopefully, we're saving the best for last," he said.

The Dodgers executed their game plan of pitching and power, at least for two days. Zack Greinke and Chris Capuano, the starters Saturday and Sunday, combined to give up one run in 13 innings, with one walk and 13 strikeouts.

Gonzalez and Ramirez hit home runs in each game.

"I told Hanley we're 2-0 on days we both homer," Gonzalez said.

The Dodgers had more. Capuano, who volunteered to start on short rest to save the Dodgers from a minor league call-up, pitched five scoreless innings.

Kenley Jansen earned his fourth save. In his last 142/3 innings, Jansen has given up no runs and no walks, with 22 strikeouts.

Juan Uribe, who has emerged as the Dodgers' starting third baseman, had two doubles. Uribe's .400 slugging percentage is higher than that of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and every other Dodger with at least 100 at-bats except Gonzalez.

Uribe also made a spectacular play, as did Ethier in center field.

"Games like we've had yesterday and today, I feel like, should be the norm for this team," Capuano said.

It should be noted that Clayton Kershaw did not start Saturday or Sunday, a bit heartening for a fan base that had counted down the days until the Dodgers' ace started.

It also should be heartening that the San Francisco Giants come to Los Angeles on Monday, after losing three of four games to the worst team in the majors, the Miami Marlins. If the Dodgers can win behind Hyun-Jin Ryu on Monday and take advantage of an injury replacement in the Giants' rotation Tuesday, well, that would get the ball to Kershaw with the Dodgers on a roll.

First, there is that matter of winning three consecutive games. The last eight times the Dodgers have won two in a row, they lost the third.

"We seem to stall," Mattingly said. "Hopefully, we go out tomorrow and get a well-pitched game, put some runs on the board and see where we go."

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