SAN DIEGO — Back-to-back homers in the ninth inning Sunday gave the Dodgers back-to-back wins over the Padres, and maybe set the needed tone if they are to climb from last place back in the National League West and into contention.
“I hope we’re saving the best for last,” said manager Don Mattingly, whose Dodgers followed Saturday’s win by pulling this one out in the ninth, 3-1, to split the four-game series.
Starter Chris Capuano stepped up on short rest with five scoreless innings. Third- and fourth-hitters Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, both of whom homered in Saturday’s win, went back-to-back off Huston Street with one out in the ninth. Juan Uribe continued his quiet comeback with a pair of doubles and an RBI. The bullpen picked up the final four innings for a Brandon League win and a Kenley Jansen save.
“Games like yesterday and today should be the norm for this team,” said Capuano.
Of course, nothing is really normal with this year’s Dodgers, especially not the circumstances of Sunday’s starting pitcher. Over the winter, the Dodgers signed Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, knocking Capuano out of their rotation, and now they can’t start him often enough. He bailed out the club that essentially bailed on him, starting on three days’ rest for the first time in nearly eight years, before he had a pair of Tommy John surgeries.
After straining a lat muscle in late May, he came off the disabled list to pitch six scoreless innings and win the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Yankees that was necessitated by Tuesday’s rainout.