The Los Angeles Dodgers will do anything to string together some victories.
Zack Greinke allowed one run over eight innings and got homers from Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez in Los Angeles’ 6-1 win at San Diego on Saturday. It was Greinke’s first outing against the Padres (38-37) since he broke his collarbone in a brawl with Carlos Quentin in April.
It’s also the fourth win in 13 games for the Dodgers (31-42), who will try to split the four-game set by winning back-to-back contests for the first time since June 6-7.
“You hope this is the start of something special, a run that gets us back into the thick of things,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “Then again, we’ve thought that before and said that before and it hasn’t happened. We just need to go do it. It’s time for us to start playing better.”
With victories at a premium and manager Don Mattingly opting not to pitch talented rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu on short rest, Capuano (2-4, 4.62 ERA) stepped up to the challenge.
The left-hander, who turns 35 in August, has not started on three days’ rest following a start since 2005. He threw 84 pitches Wednesday when he came off his second 2013 stint on the disabled list to allow three hits in six innings of a 6-0 win at Yankee Stadium.
“Obviously, there’s a sense of urgency there,” Mattingly told the Dodgers’ official website. “He sees we’re not putting wins on the board, and he wants to change it. I like the fact he wants to do it. I still wouldn’t do it unless everybody thought it was OK and everybody checked off.”
After throwing 2 2-3 scoreless innings of relief against the Padres this season, Capuano gave up five runs in two innings of a 9-2 loss to San Diego on April 16.
Gonzalez’s homer is his only hit in 12 at-bats in this series against his former team.
Ramirez, meanwhile, is 10 for 18 with two homers and six RBIs in five contests after going 3 for 20 in his first nine games following a monthlong stint on the DL.
Chase Headley had two of the five hits Saturday for the Padres, whose eight-game home winning streak ended with their third defeat in 12 overall.
Headley is 4 for 11 in the series, and 4 for 10 with a double and a home run against Capuano.
San Diego’s Andrew Cashner (5-3, 3.56) is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 11 appearances against the Dodgers, but this will be the first time he’ll face them as a starter.
The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.65 ERA as a starter at home this season, compared to 1-2 with a 4.37 ERA in six on the road. Cashner overcame a season-high 10 hits to allow three runs and strike out six in 6 2-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 5-4 loss at San Francisco on Tuesday.
“I threw the ball well, though there are a couple of pitches I’d like back,” Cashner said.