Juan Uribe destroyed his old team, the San Francisco Giants, with seven RBIs to help the Dodgers pull to within 3 1/2 games of the NL West after trailing by 9 1/2 games just two weeks ago on Friday. With no dominant team in the division, the Dodgers have overcome a 30-42 start to win 11 of their last 13 games to move into a tie for second place with the Colorado Rockies and have a chance to go to Arizona next week and claim first place.
The Dodgers are 26th in the league in runs scored, but with the second highest payroll in baseball it has been rookie phenom Yasiel Puig (.430 batting average with eight home runs in just 114 at bats so far) who has pushed them back into contention. The Dodgers have now had at least 13 hits in five consecutive games.
Friday it was Uribe, the No. 8 hitter, who was the spark. In the third inning Uribe doubled to left of Matt Cain to drive in his first two runs and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead en route to the 10-2 win Friday.
In the third, his line drive to left with bases loaded eluded a diving left fielder to result in a rare triple for the slow-footed Uribe. That triple made the score 7-1 and chase Cain from the game. Ryu then helped himself by punching a single through to right to make it 8-1, closing the books on Cain.
In the top of the seventh, Uribe drove a pitch over the left-center field wall for a 2-run homer for his sixth and seventh RBI to make the score 10-1.
He led off the bottom of the ninth against reliever Jake Dunning with a chance at the cycle, but could not hold up on a slider away to strike out.
Staked to the lead, Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3, 2.82) was dominant again as he joins Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw as arguably the best 1-2-3 starting pitching punch in baseball. Kershaw continues to be almost untouchable with a 1.92 ERA, but the lack or run support before the arrival of Puig has left him just 7-5.
The Dodgers have now won four straight against their rivals to the north after starting just 1-5 against the Giants. The Dodgers are only 2-7 against first place Arizona, so a similar turnaround against the Diamondbacks would land them in first after the Monday through Wednesday series.