This game got off to an ugly start: Aaron Harang walked three and gave up a double in the first inning, yet somehow escaped by giving up only one run.
Then things got weird. Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run off Ben Sheets. Okay, great news, but hardly a shock.
Then James Loney homered. Sure, he homered two days ago against the Pirates, but this was still unexpected.
Then Luis Cruz homered. That right: four pitches, three homers. Perhaps conscious of the backlash against Hanley's "I see you" gag on the road, Cruz attempted a half-hearted goggles gesture upon crossing home plate but quickly put it away, smiling sheepishly. It was a great character moment for an unlikely contributor.
In the sixth, Hanley put it away with a three-run homer. The Dodgers had four hits today; all four were home runs.
Harang made it stand up, scattering four hits and eight strikeouts (and five walks) over 6 2/3 innings. Interim manager Trey Hillman put his stamp on the game, removing Javy Guerra mid-count in the eighth in favor of Shawn Tolleson. But it all worked out, with Kenley Jansen getting four outs (and giving up a meaningless homer) to end it.
Dodgers ensure a winning road trip (6-3) with one more to go tomorrow. Unfortunately the Padres folded again for the Giants, so the Dodgers are still in second place by half a game. Morning baseball tomorrow!
1, 2 & 4: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images