Dodgers find some late momentum, win in 11th on A.J. Ellis single
Ah, momentum. It can be such a fleeting little thing. Also tease you to death.
The Dodgers were hoping they were onto something with their dramatic walk-off victory Sunday, but Monday called and there seemed no continued impetus to be found.
And then, what?
The Dodgers were down a run in the bottom of the ninth, looking dead, when Andre Ethier hit a game-tying solo home run. Something was going on now, and then in the bottom of the 11th it became full-blown momentum when A.J. Ellis singled to drive in the winning run in the Dodgers’ 4-3 comeback victory over the Padres.
It was the first time this season the Dodgers put together back-to-back walk-off victories.
The victory enabled the Dodgers to remain 4 1/2 games back of the Giants in the National League West, and a half-game back of the Cardinals for the final NL wild-card berth.
The Dodgers started their winning rally with two outs in the 11th, when Ethier singled to right and Luis Cruz drove his career-high fourth hit of the night to send Ethier to third.
Ellis, who was 0 for 4 on the night to that point, then lined a single to right to score Ethier for the winning run.
Things had not started so well for the Dodgers. They were held to two runs over the first six innings by rookie Andrew Werner.
Werner, an undrafted left-hander from Illinois Central University, was making his third impressive start for the Padres. Werner has given up two runs over six innings in each start.
The Padres staked Werner to an early 2-0 lead in the first when Will Venable singled off Joe Blanton and Chase Headley followed with his 24th home run of the season. Sixteen of those homers have come since the All-Star break, the most in the major leagues.
The Dodgers finally got one run back against Werner in the fifth after Cruz led off with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blanton and scored on a base hit by Mark Ellis on a nice outside slide of home.
The Dodgers tied it quickly in the sixth when Hanley Ramirez drove his 24th home run of the season just beyond the center-field wall. For Ramirez, it was his 10th home run in 38 games since joining the Dodgers on July 24.
But the Padres quickly went back ahead in the seventh after Werner collected his first career hit with a single up the middle. With two outs, Randy Choate relieved Blanton and pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe greeted him with an infield single that apparently went off the left thumb of Choate.
Ronald Belisario took over for Choate, but Headley singled up the middle to score pinch-runner Clayton Richard for the go-ahead run.
In his 6 2/3 innings, Blanton was charged with three runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked two.
Werner (2-1) struck out eight in his six innings, holding the Dodgers to five hits.
Brandon League continued strong pitching of late, throwing two scoreless innings to pick up his first victory of the season against six losses.