Sudden and dramatic, the Dodgers’ rise to the top of the National League West was a pipe dream in June, but the club continues to soar, snatching six of seven games this past week.
The Dodgers (56-48), who extended their lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks to two and one half games, nabbed three of four from Cincinnati at Chavez Ravine, including Sunday’s 1-0 thriller when first-year outfielder Yasiel Puig clubbed a homer to deep left field in the 11th inning.
“We told him to look for the slider,’’ said Mark McGwire, the Dodgers’ hitting coach of Puig, who drilled his 10th homer and drove in his 23rd run. “You have to go up the middle. At this level, if you try to simplify the game, it makes it a lot easier.”
Skip Schumaker’s two-run shot in the fifth inning was key to Saturday’s 4-1 decision over the Reds, and Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-3) was practically flawless across seven innings as he gave up two hits with one run (earned), striking out nine and walking one.
Schumaker (two hits) scored in the seventh on Adrian Gonzalez’s single, and Hanley Ramirez’s double in the first inning gave the Dodgers a 1-0 cushion.
Clayton Kershaw scattered six hits and allowed one run (earned) in eight frames as the Dodgers edged the Reds, 2-1, on Friday.
Kershaw (10-6) didn’t walk a batter, fanned eight, and Ramirez’s two-run blast (11th) in the sixth accounted for all of the Dodgers’ runs.
Mat Latos (10-3) handed out eight hits with two runs (one earned) as Cincinnati waltzed to a 5-2 win on Thursday, and Jay Bruce slammed a two-run homer (21st) for the Reds, who led 2-0 after three innings.
Behind a 16-hit explosion, the Dodgers routed host Toronto, 8-3, in 10 innings on Wednesday, as Andre Ethier (four hits) drove in two runs and scored a run, while Puig (three hits) scored two runs and had two runs batted in.
The Dodgers secured a 10-9 win on Tuesday over the Blue Jays as Puig, Gonzalez, Ethier, Mark Ellis and Tim Federowicz each collected two hits, while Gonzalez, Ethier and Ellis, all chipped in with three RBIs.
A.J. Ellis had four hits including a homer, added five RBIs with three runs scored as the Dodgers were 14-5 victors over Toronto on Monday.
Carl Crawford (three hits) had two RBIs, and Ramirez, Ethier, Schumaker and Mark Ellis, all chimed in with two hits, while Schumaker drove in three runs and scored two runs.