The Los Angeles Dodgers have done a good job of late of rebounding from a loss, then stringing together some victories.
They’ll look to continue that trend Sunday in their decisive series finale against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
After allowing three ninth-inning runs to lose 6-5 at San Diego on Friday, Los Angeles (41-35) bounced back Saturday to win 4-2. Josh Beckett threw seven scoreless innings and Hanley Ramirez had two hits and two RBIs as the Dodgers won for the ninth time in 13 games.
During that stretch, Los Angeles followed back-to-back defeats with two consecutive victories. The Dodgers also responded to another defeat by winning three in a row before Friday’s loss.
Kenley Jansen earned his 21st save Saturday after blowing a chance one night earlier.
”The key is to bounce back, and that was where Kenley has been pretty good," manager Don Mattingly said. "I think he has grown up into this role, to be able to clear the mind and go back out there the next day.”
Ramirez is batting .357 (10 for 28) with six RBIs in his last eight games and is 4 for 10 with four RBIs in his last three versus San Diego (32-43).
Hyun-jin Ryu (8-3, 3.18 ERA) has allowed one run and struck out 13 in 13 1-3 innings while going 1-0 in two starts against the Padres. He gave up three hits and struck out seven over seven scoreless innings of a 3-1 loss at Petco Park on March 30.
The left-hander is 5-1 with a 3.38 ERA since missing almost a month with a shoulder problem. He gave up a homer and two other hits in six innings of a 6-1 home victory over Colorado on Monday.
"He’s a handful," Mattingly told the Dodgers’ official website. "That guy can really pitch."
Looking to avoid losing a fifth straight start and becoming the majors’ second 10-game loser, San Diego’s Eric Stults (2-9, 5.76) is 0-6 with a 6.56 ERA in seven outings since beating Miami on May 10. The left-hander allowed four runs on two homers in five innings of a 6-1 loss at Seattle on Tuesday.
"His pitches have been up in the zone," manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official website. "He’s not locating his fastball, and a pitcher like Stultsy has to hit his spots."
Though Stults has yielded 14 runs in 12 1-3 innings of his last three starts, he felt encouraged that his last outing might have provided a glimmer of hope going forward.
”I felt like my stuff was better, I just haven’t had the results the last few outings I would like to see,” said Stults, whose ERA is the worst on the Padres.
The ex-Dodger is 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA in five starts against his former team.
Ramirez is 4 for 12 with two doubles versus Stults, and Yasiel Puig is 5 for 6 with a double.
Puig is likely to be in the lineup for a second straight game after he re-injured a strained left hip flexor late in Friday’s contest.
"He’s always got a little something," Mattingly said. "He goes hard, plays hard. He’s going to have bumps, bruises, soreness."
San Diego’s Alexi Amarista is 4 for 7 in this series and singled in his only at-bat versus Ryu.