PHOENIX -- From the manager’s office in the visiting clubhouse at Chase Field, celebratory shouts could be heard from outside.
A 10-game trip that started with a season-high eight-game losing streak ended with back-to-back victories over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the second an 8-1 win Sunday in which the Dodgers pounded Brandon Webb for eight runs in 3 1/3 innings to prevent him from becoming baseball’s first 20-game winner in three seasons.
But as reality was setting in that the Dodgers were only 2 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks in the National League West, Manager Joe Torre revealed that another obstacle had come up in this season full of setbacks: Jeff Kent was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee.
Kent’s season and Hall of Fame-worthy 17-year career could be over.
“I know if there’s a chance he can come back, he’ll come back,” Torre said.
And there is a chance.
Trainer Stan Conte said the severity of Kent’s injury won’t be known until the team physician, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, operates on the knee.
If the damage is limited to what was discovered in the MRI exam, Kent should be able to immediately start a rehabilitation program that could be completed in two weeks.
Recovery could also take two months.
The Dodgers’ regular season ends Sept. 28.
Kent, who has said that this will be his last season with the Dodgers and perhaps in the majors, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday night. His place on the active roster was taken by shortstop Chin-lung Hu, who was recalled from triple-A Las Vegas.
Though the deadline for acquiring players who could be included on a team’s playoff roster passed Sunday night without the Dodgers’ being able to get a middle infielder in a waiver deal, General Manager Ned Colletti said he would continue to look for reinforcements. That any new player would be ineligible for postseason play was fine with him, he said, because Kent and shortstop Rafael Furcal could be back in time for the playoffs.
Asked about the latest news on Kent, Derek Lowe shook his head.
“It seems like we’ve had one injury after another after another,” Lowe said. “We have an All-Star DL list right now.”
But Lowe (11-11), who earned the victory Sunday by tossing six scoreless innings, said Torre has maintained a sense of calm in circumstances of this nature the entire season.
And, Lowe added, the team showed some character in the way it rebounded from its eight-game skid by beating Dan Haren and Webb on consecutive days.
Webb was 8-0 with a 1.19 earned-run average in his previous nine starts against the Dodgers.
“It’s a funny game,” Torre said. “It’s a funny game.”
Webb (19-6) was hit hard in his previous start in San Diego -- he gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings to snap an 11-start unbeaten streak -- and he was hit hard again Sunday, when he couldn’t command his patented sinker.
Andre Ethier hit a solo home run and Casey Blake hit a three-run bomb in the first inning to put the Dodgers ahead, 4-0.
The Dodgers added a run in the third when Matt Kemp scored on a sacrifice fly by Blake DeWitt.
That set up a three-run fourth inning that Webb failed to get through, as Ethier doubled in Russell Martin from second and Andre Ethier and Manny Ramirez scored on a grounder to third by Kemp that Mark Reynolds misplayed for an error.
Ramirez was walked three times by Webb, twice intentionally.