Just as the Dodgers were wrapping up their most successful month since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, the NL West leaders acquired infielder Michael Young from Philadelphia to bolster a potential playoff run.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a tying single in the seventh inning and pinch-hitter Mark Ellis singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth for a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
The Dodgers also received cash from the Phillies in exchange for minor league left-hander Rob Rasmussen. Young waived his no-trade clause in a deal that was completed 10-15 minutes before the 9 p.m. PDT deadline to make him eligible for the playoffs with the Dodgers, according to general manager Ned Colletti.
"Someone that brings obviously World Series experience, one of the classier people in the game, a winner," Colletti said. "He can play first or third, can come off the bench. Someone we feel has a lot left."
Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said Young could spell Juan Uribe at third base or Gonzalez at first.
"We like the guys that we have, but Michael just adds to it," he said.
Mattingly spoke to Uribe about the deal.
"I don’t feel bad," he said. "I don’t feel mad. I’m good. He’s a good player. He can help the team, too."
Young batted .276 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs in 126 games with the Phillies this season, including seven hits in his last 10 at-bats before the trade. He has made 101 starts at third base and 17 at first.
The 36-year-old veteran is a .300 career hitter with 185 homers and 1,026 RBIs.
"He makes us stronger," Mattingly said.
Young was acquired by the Phillies last December from Texas. He is from nearby Covina.
The Rangers paid a portion of Young’s salary to Philadelphia, which is passing it on to the Dodgers, Colletti said.
The rest of Young’s new teammates were enthusiastic about his impending arrival.
"One of the better human beings around, not just baseball players," said Skip Schumaker, who attended UC Santa Barbara after Young did and knows him from alumni games. "He’s going to fit right in. Anybody in the big leagues would love to have him."
Gonzalez and Young were teammates in Texas.
"Another guy who knows how to play the game, a great guy in the clubhouse," Gonzalez said. "He knows how to prepare and be ready for at-bats."
The Dodgers ended August with a 23-6 record, their most wins in a month since 1958. The club record of 25 was set in July 1947 and equaled in August 1953, when the team played in Brooklyn.
"We’ve stayed healthy and our bullpen has done very well," Gonzalez said. "You can’t win without pitching. Days like today, we won with our pitching and defense."
Brian Wilson (1-0) came on in relief to earn the victory — his first since joining the Dodgers last week. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances.
Nick Vincent (3-2) took the loss, allowing two hits on nine pitches in the eighth after relieving starter Andrew Cashner.
Dodgers starter Chris Capuano allowed one run and eight hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked one.
"There were a number of 3-2 and 2-0 changeups, and when a pitcher does that and throws it in the strike zone, it’s pretty tough," Padres manager Bud Black said. "And he had enough velocity to keep us honest. We got some hits off him, but we just couldn’t string them together and get the big blow."
Schumaker led off the eighth with a double and was sacrificed to third by Tim Federowicz. Schumaker scored on Ellis’ single to center, one of the Dodgers’ 13 hits, equaling their amount in Friday’s series-opening win.
The Dodgers tied it at 1 on Gonzalez’s RBI single with one out in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. and Carl Crawford opened the inning with singles.
Cashner intentionally walked Andre Ethier to load the bases before Uribe grounded out to end the inning.
Ronny Cedeno homered with two outs in the fourth for the Padres.
Cashner gave up one run and 10 hits while striking out seven and walking three. The Padres, who had 10 hits, have lost seven of nine.
NOTES: The Dodgers transferred injured pitcher Josh Beckett to the 60-day DL to make room for Young. … Dodgers OF Matt Kemp was set to be the DH again at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday and Sunday. Kemp has been on the DL since July 24 with a sprained left ankle. "His timing doesn’t sound very good yet," Mattingly said. "It’s hard to jump in at 94-95 (mph) when you haven’t seen it in a while. Matt wants to be swinging the ball good when he comes back." … The Padres activated OF Kyle Blanks from the 15-day DL and optioned RHP Anthony Bass to Triple-A Tucson. Blanks was 1 for 11 with a run scored and a walk in four rehab games. … Padres 3B Chase Headley, who left Friday’s game in the fifth inning with back stiffness, didn’t show much improvement overnight so he didn’t play.