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Dodgers' struggling bullpen causes anxiety even in a 10-8 win

Dodgers' struggling bullpen causes anxiety even in a 10-8 win
The Dodgers bullpen made kept the game in doubt, but closer Kenley Jansen finished the game to give the Dodgers a 10-8 win. (Hunter Martin / Getty Images)

With 10 runs and 15 hits Thursday, the Dodgers enjoyed their best offensive output in more than a month. Yet they still had to call on Kenley Jansen to close in the ninth inning, with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's sprawling catch-and-tag double play saving a 10-8 win.

Such is the state of the Dodgers bullpen — even scoring 10 runs isn't enough to prevent some anxious moments in the final innings.

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The bullpen hasn't had a scoreless outing in more than a week, with Joel Peralta, who gave up a tie-breaking grand slam Tuesday, allowing two hits and two runs while getting just one out Thursday. That forced Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly to call on Jansen, who gave up a two-run double and a single to put the tying run on base before Gonzalez stabbed Domonic Brown's one-out liner to end the game.

"It wasn't smooth," Mattingly said. "But it's a W."

Speaking of Ws

The Dodgers are eight games below .500 against teams that entered Thursday with a winning record and 46-22 against everyone else — which would seem to be a problem, because only teams with winning records figure to make the playoffs.

But Mattingly said his only concern is winning as many regular-season games as possible, no matter who they come against.

"You've got to beat everybody. You've got to beat the good teams, you've got to beat the bad teams," said Mattingly, whose team opens a three-game series Friday in Pittsburgh against the National League's second-winningest team. "When you get to October … it doesn't matter really what happened over the course of the season.

"So I don't think anybody's going to get to October and go, 'Oh, we didn't really beat the good teams. We can't win."

Hot streak

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who doubled and scored Thursday, has reached base in 12 of his last 13 games and is batting .306 over that span. Second baseman Howie Kendrick has reached base safely in eight straight games, hitting .367 with seven runs scored.

Which is news to Kendrick.

"I'm not really worried about that," he said.

Asked whether he's made any changes after batting just .255 in July, Kendrick shook his head.

"No. It's just the same stuff."

Short hops

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Right-hander Carlos Frias was placed on the seven-day disabled list at triple-A Oklahoma City after coming out of Wednesday's start in the second inning with back pain. …With four doubles and two homers Thursday, the Dodgers extended their streak of road games with at least one extra-base hit to 98, dating to last season. Since 1914, only the 2005-07 St. Louis Cardinals (127 games) have a longer streak.

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