The Los Angeles Dodgers are finally showing signs of life offensively.
It might be too late, however, to save their season.
With their playoffs hopes fading, the suddenly red-hot Dodgers look to win four straight games for the first time in six weeks Saturday night against the Colorado Rockies.
After plating three runs or fewer in 14 of 18 games, Los Angeles (82-75) has scored eight in each of its last three. Shane Victorino had a three-run homer in Friday's 8-0 win over the Rockies, as the team clinched a winning season for the second straight year under manager Don Mattingly.
Clinching a playoff berth, however, is obviously a more coveted achievement, but one looking more and more unlikely.
Despite the victory, the Dodgers remained three games behind St. Louis - a 12-2 winner over Washington on Friday - for the second NL wild card with five to play.
"It's win or go home," Victorino said. "Our mentality is that way. We're going to keep battling. We're going to have fun, we're going to finish strong and plan to finish with all 'W's.'"
Even if they win their final five games, the Dodgers would still miss the playoffs if the Cardinals were to win three more times.
"We got to keep pressure on St. Louis,' Mattingly said. "We got to force them to win every day.'
Los Angeles, which hasn't won four in a row since Aug. 12-15, could make things interesting, however, if its offense continues to pile up runs.
Matt Kemp is 6 for 13 with five RBIs in the last three games, while Adrian Gonzalez is 5 for 13 with three runs driven in.
Andre Ethier had three hits Friday and could be poised for another big game - he is 4 for 7 with two doubles lifetime against scheduled starter Tyler Chatwood (5-5, 5.49 ERA).
Chatwood gave up two runs and three hits in 5 2-3 innings in Monday's 4-2 victory over Arizona, his first win since beating Los Angeles on Aug. 28. The right-hander again showed better control, walking two, bringing his total over the last three games to four. He issued 12 base on balls in his previous three starts.
"I've been building off my last two outings," he said. "The results weren't there but I felt good about them. Just building off that and kept it going.'
In his lone start this season against the Dodgers 4 1/2 weeks ago, Chatwood allowed two runs, five hits and three walks in five innings.
Colorado (62-95) had little luck in the opener against reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who allowed five hits over eight innings. Rookie Jordan Pacheco went 0 for 4 after batting .356 with seven RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.
The Rockies, whose four-game winning streak was snapped, could have better luck against Joe Blanton (9-13, 4.86)
Since being acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline, Blanton hasn't done much to help the Dodgers' postseason push, going 1-4 with a 5.57 ERA in nine starts. His lone win, however, came in Colorado on Aug. 29, when he gave up three runs and 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 10-8 final.
The righty put together a decent outing last Friday in Cincinnati, permitting a run and four hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 3-1, 10-inning win.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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