LOS ANGELES - The way things are going for the Los Angeles Dodgers, even the rarest of baseball plays aren't enough to stem the tide for the hottest team in baseball.
A hidden ball trick accounted for one of Los Angeles' outs on Saturday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Dodgers were fine otherwise. Barely more than 12 hours after putting up a four-run ninth inning to take a last at-bat, comeback win over Tampa Bay, the Dodgers had no need for a rally as they built an early lead and went on to defeat the Rays, 5-0, at Dodger Stadium.
Behind the streaking Zack Greinke, Los Angeles won for the ninth time in 10 August games and for the 19th time in 22 games since the All-Star Break.
"I think just exciting, this is unbelievable," Dodgers shortstop Nick Punto said. "The fans are incredible right now. We can feel the buzz in L.A. We feel it in the clubhouse. It's unbelievable right now."
Added Dodgers manager Don Mattingly: "Obviously, it feels pretty good right now the way we're playing, but we turn the page all the time. Those games 44 days ago don't help us anymore. If you ask me how we do it, it's with the starting pitching we're getting. The starting pitching is giving us a chance every day, for the most part."
Skip Schumaker went 4-for-4 and Punto, Juan Uribe and Adrian Gonzalez each had two hits for the Dodgers, who lead the National League in team batting.
Tampa Bay starter Roberto Hernandez allowed three or more runs for the 11th time in 12 games as the Dodgers tagged him for eight hits and five runs in four innings.
"He did not have really good stuff," Tampa Bay manager Joe Madden said. "He even told me the ball was not moving the way it normally does for him. We were fortunate just to get out with four or five at that particular moment and then try to come back."
Greinke cruised through the Tampa Bay lineup twice and exited with a five-run cushion after allowing just six hits and one walk while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings. Greinke won for the seventh time in 10 starts and the Dodgers moved to 9-1 in his starts since June 22, when he spurred a team-best 36-8 stretch.
"His slider really looked like his fastball coming out of his hand," Rays outfielder Wil Myers said. "He just kept us off balance and did a good job out there. Even their bullpen, they came in and shut the door."
Greinke was in control early after the Los Angeles lineup staked him an early lead.
Greinke threw 49 of his first 57 pitches for strikes as the Braves struggled to rebound from a quick deficit after losing a 6-0 lead on Friday night, capped off by a four-run ninth inning in a 7-6 Dodgers win.
The Dodgers built an early lead with timely and consistent hitting, sparked by Gonzalez's two-run homer in the first inning. Punto followed with a two-RBI single in the bottom of the third and A.J. Ellis added an RBI sac fly in the fourth.
"It's always fun to come to the park when things are going well," Punto said. "You get revved up to get to the park, to the field, to see who's ragging who."
Tampa Bay did have one highlight, though.
Dodgers infielder Juan Uribe fell victim to the first successful hidden ball trick in six years as he was tagged out at third base by Evan Longoria in the fourth inning.
"I called the ball from (James) Loney and right away he got Longo's attention," Tampa Bay's Yunel Escobar, who threw it to Longoria, said through an interpreter. "The umpire was standing there and knew what was going on right away. The only one who didn't know was Uribe."
NOTES: Los Angeles SS Hanley Ramirez again missed game with a sore shoulder. ... Dodgers RHP Brian Wilson is expected to pitch for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday and Tuesday. The recently signed former San Francisco Giants closer is expected to ease into the set-up man role for Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen, who has been dominant of late, recently completing a "perfect game," or 27 straight outs. ... Rays RHP Alex Cobb made his third rehab start for Single-A Charlotte on Friday and allowed five hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings against Fort Myers. ... Los Angeles is unbeaten in its last 15 series, and Saturday's win clinched their 11th series win in that span with four series ties.