At one point in the season, the Dodgers were 30-42 and mired in last place in the National League West, but since then have ripped off a 51-13 record after sweeping visiting San Diego three games, including last Sunday’s 2-1 win behind Zack Greinke (14-3).
Greinke struck out seven, walked two, allowed two hits and one run (earned) over seven innings, and reliever Kenley Jansen chalked up his 24th save with a perfect ninth inning.
“He reminds me a lot of [Hall of Famer] Greg Maddox, and he even has a better fastball,’’ said Rick Honeycutt, the Dodgers’ pitching coach of Greinke. “He battled through early (broken collarbone) and has really come around.”
With the score tied at 1-1 after Mark Ellis (two hits) had a run-scoring single in the third, rookie Yasiel Puig mashed his 14th homer in the sixth for a one-run lead.
Chris Capuano delivered seven innings, but didn’t get credit for the 2-1 victory over the Padres on Saturday as Carl Crawford had three hits, Adrian Gonzalez (two hits) and a run batted in as did pinch-hitter Ellis in the eighth.
Gonzalez pounded two homers and had four RBIs, while Puig added four hits with an RBI and a run scored for the first-place Dodgers (81-55), who pushed around San Diego 9-2 on Friday.
A five-run seventh iced the game, and Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-5) walked away with the decision after tossing six and one-third innings, striking out six, walking one and yielding eight hits with one run (earned).
Ricky Nolasco (11-9) fanned 11, walked one, gave up three hits in eight frames as the Dodgers blanked Chicago 4-0 at the Stadium on Wednesday.
Skip Schumaker, Andre Ethier (two hits and a run) and Hanley Ramirez (a run) all had an RBI as the Boys in Blue scored runs in three innings.
Clayton Kershaw (13-8) fanned nine, walked three with seven hits and two runs (one earned) over five and two-third frames, and absorbed a 3-2 setback at the hands of the Cubs on Tuesday.
Ramirez (three hits) scored two runs, while Ethier and Juan Uribe each contributed run-scoring hits.
Greinke mastered the Cubs across eight and two-third innings of Monday’s 6-2 victory, whiffing nine and walking two with five hits and two runs (earned).