LOS ANGELES -- After blazing through the second half of June and all of July and August, the Los Angeles Dodgers reverted to the mean in early September.
Los Angeles was just 4-4 in eight September games before Tuesday, with three one-run losses in a sour road trip at Cincinnati.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers took a step toward regaining their midseason momentum with a second straight win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, winning 5-3 on Scott Van Slyke's two-run, 11-inning homer.
As occurred during the fantastic summer stretch, Los Angeles had a surprise hero.
Van Slyke hit a pinch-hit blast over the left field fence off Arizona reliever Josh Collmenter, cutting the Dodgers' magic number for clinching the National League West title to six.
Both starting pitchers went six innings before leaving it to a host of relief pitchers. Arizona's Trevor Cahill allowed four hits and three runs (one earned) while walking four with two strikeouts. Los Angeles' Edinson Volquez allowed four hits and three runs with five strikeouts and one walk.
The Dodgers followed with five relievers, and Chris Withrow (3-0) picked up the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. The Diamondbacks used three relievers, including Collmenter (4-3), who allowed three hits and two runs in 1 1/3 innings.
Adrian Gonzalez had three hits to lead the Los Angeles output. Mark Ellis added two hits and two runs. His 11th-inning single immediately preceded Van Slyke's homer.
Paul Goldschmidt had two hits, including his 30th double of the year, to lead Arizona.
After Los Angeles got on the board first with two runs in the second inning on a Miguel Montero throwing error and a Yasiel Puig RBI fielder's choice, Arizona chipped away off Volquez in the middle innings.
Montero scored Paul Goldschmidt with an RBI single in the fourth inning, and Didi Gregorius put Arizona on top with a two-run homer in the fifth.
Los Angeles tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the fifth on an Andre Ethier double that scored Hanley Ramirez.
NOTES: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he expects OF Matt Kemp to be able to return this season, despite the fact that Kemp was once more shut down from his rehab last week due to hamstring tightness. Kemp, out since July 22, originally because of a left ankle sprain, is currently relegated to batting in simulated games at the team's training facility in Arizona. ... With a second-inning walk, Dodgers 3B Juan Uribe extended his on-base streak to five consecutive plate appearances after a four-hit, two-homer performance Monday against the Diamondbacks. ... Tuesday marked Volquez's first home start since being signed by the Dodgers on Aug. 30 after he was released by the San Diego Padres on Aug. 27. ... The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will open the 2014 season with a two-game series in Sydney, Australia, on March 22-23.