The banged-up Los Angeles Dodgers should eventually win their second consecutive NL West title, but they’d prefer not to limp into the postseason.
Los Angeles tries again to secure its second straight division championship Tuesday night when it faces the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
The Dodgers failed to clinch the West on Sunday, as Pittsburgh rallied for four runs in the ninth inning to beat Los Angeles 6-5. The Dodgers lost 11-1 in the series finale Monday as Manny Ramirez(notes), Ronnie Belliard(notes) and Casey Blake(notes) sat out with injuries.
“I’d be more concerned if it were a week from now,” manager Joe Torre said of his team’s extensive health issues.
Ramirez rested a sore left hamstring, although he was available to pinch hit Monday. He could return to the lineup Tuesday.
Blake missed his sixth straight game Monday after returning to Los Angeles to have his strained left hamstring examined.
“He felt the tightness again (Sunday) when he ran,” Torre said. “He’ll join us in San Diego.”
Belliard is likely out for the two-game set against the Padres due to a groin injury suffered Sunday.
The 11-1 loss to the Pirates matched the Dodgers’ most lopsided margin of defeat this season. Los Angeles (93-64), trying to win consecutive division titles for the first time since 1977-78, owns a 4 1/2-game lead over Colorado.
Despite retiring the first 14 batters, Billingsley did not get a decision in a 5-4 defeat to Washington on Wednesday. The right-hander lost his no-hit bid in the sixth inning when he surrendered a three-run homer to Ryan Zimmerman(notes).
Billingsley, who allowed three runs in six innings, is 0-4 with a 5.45 ERA in his last six starts and has not won since Aug. 18.
Facing the Padres should give him a good chance to end that streak. He has gone 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts against San Diego this season.
While the Dodgers are looking to get healthy before the playoffs, San Diego (72-85) tries to close out a mostly strong second half of the season. The Padres are 15-9 this month and 34-23 since July 28.
“We’d like to continue playing that type of baseball this coming week (and) have everybody finish on a high note statistically,” manager Bud Black told the club’s official Web site prior to Sunday’s 7-4 loss to Arizona.
Gonzalez, who needs two RBIs to reach 100 for the third straight season, has batted .228 with two homers and seven RBIs versus Los Angeles this year.
Cesar Ramos(notes) (0-1, 1.69), who has never faced the Dodgers, is scheduled to make his first career start Tuesday. A Los Angeles native who went to Long Beach State, Ramos has made three appearances since being called up from Triple-A Portland on Sept. 8.
Los Angeles has won 10 of 16 against San Diego this season.