The Dodgers beat the Padres 2-1 Tuesday for just their third win in eight games. They are 3 1/2 games behind the Florida Marlins in the race for the National League wild card with six games to play.
“Nothing is impossible,” Los Angeles starter Wilson Alvarez said. “We’re still in it. Hopefully, this game will make all the guys here play a little harder tomorrow because we can’t lose from now on. We have to win every day.”
Los Angeles could possibly be in better shape if Brown had pitched a little better down the stretch. The veteran right-hander is just 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA in September after yielding five runs—three earned—in five innings of a 6-4 loss to San Francisco on Friday.
Alex Cora doubled home the go-ahead run for the Dodgers in the ninth inning Tuesday night, and Eric Gagne got the final three outs for his 54th save this season and his major league-record 62nd in a row dating to last year.
“Of course, we’re in there, we’re alive,” Gagne said of the Dodgers’ playoff chances. “It’s not as good as yesterday or the day before, but we’re still in it mathematically.”
San Diego has lost nine of 12. The Padres are 1-4 against the Dodgers during that stretch, managing just three runs in the four losses.
STANDINGS: Dodgers - 2nd place, 14 GB, NL West. Padres - 5th place, 35 1/2 GB, NL West.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Brown (14-9, 2.43 ERA). The former Padres pitcher will be making his final start at Qualcomm Stadium, where he is 13-7 with six complete games and a 2.33 ERA. He is 10-5 in 18 career games against the Padres.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Ben Howard (1-3, 4.23 ERA). Howard has lost three straight starts. The right-hander didn’t pitch very poorly in the first two losses, but yielded five runs over 5 1-3 innings in the last one, a 6-5 loss to Colorado on Friday. He lost to the Dodgers on Sept. 14, allowing just one earned run but surrendering three homers in five innings of a 5-2 loss.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .277 avg.; Jeromy Burnitz, 30 HRs; Shawn Green, 81 RBIs and 81 runs; Dave Roberts, 40 SBs. Padres - Mark Loretta, .322 avg.; Ryan Klesko, 21 HRs; Brian Giles, 86 RBIs and 89 runs; Gary Matthews, 12 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Padres, 10-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - Brown is third in the NL in ERA. … The Dodgers have won 16 of their last 25 games. … 3B Adrian Beltre has 17 home runs and 46 RBIs since the All-Star break. Padres - Loretta went 0-for-3 Tuesday, leaving him one shy of setting a new single-season record for hits by a Padres second baseman. He is tied with Roberto Alomar, who had 184 in 1989. … OF Giles has two hits in each of the first two games of this series. … The Padres are 9-45 when scoring fewer than three runs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 37-38 on the road; Padres - 33-43 at home.
INJURIES: Dodgers - OF Brian Jordan (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Alfredo Gonzalez (shoulder), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Padres - INF Ryan Klesko (shoulder), 15-day DL.