The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t playing the kind of baseball they’d like to on this road trip against a pair of last-place teams.
They’ll try to get back on the winning track Saturday night—and may take the field having already clinched manager Joe Torre’s 14th straight postseason berth—when they continue a four-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Los Angeles (92-62) fell 3-1 on Friday to start this series and keep their magic number at one. The Dodgers could have gained at least the wild card with a victory or a loss by Atlanta.
The Braves beat Washington 4-1 and play an afternoon game against the Nationals on Saturday, meaning the Dodgers could already be playoff-bound when this game starts. Torre would tie Atlanta manager Bobby Cox’s major league record of 14 straight playoff appearances.
Los Angeles figured to have an easy time clinching a second straight NL West title on this swing. The Dodgers won two of three in Washington before managing seven hits and giving up three unearned runs Friday as their magic number to clinch the division remained four.
“It’s not going to happen every night,” Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson(notes) said. “We know we’ve got a good ballclub, we can pitch, hit, play defense. But we’re not going to be perfect. Just because they’re so many back, that doesn’t mean they’re going to roll over and let us pound on them.”
Randy Wolf(notes) (11-6, 3.24 ERA) seeks a seventh straight victory as he continues his bid to start the first game of the playoffs for Los Angeles. He’s 6-0 with a 2.41 ERA over his last eight outings with opponents batting .177 in that span.
The veteran left-hander allowed two runs and five hits in six-plus innings Sunday to record a 6-2 victory over San Francisco.
Wolf surrendered three runs over seven innings in a 5-4, 13-inning win against Pittsburgh on Sept. 15. He is 7-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 11 career outings against the Pirates.
The left-hander suffered his first home loss in five appearances Sunday against San Diego when he gave up three runs and nine hits over six innings in a 4-0 loss.