All it took was one win for the Dodgers. No longer on the brink of getting swept, they now have a chance to split a four-game series with the streaking Padres on Sunday afternoon.
While the Dodgers' pitching has kept them afloat, their once-lackluster lineup has started to show signs of a breakout.
With Hanley Ramirez back at shortstop and Yasiel Puig providing a threat from the top of the lineup, the Dodgers' offense, ranked 29th in the Majors, has moved toward the middle of the pack for the month of June.
The Dodgers scored six runs on Saturday to snap the Padres' eight-game home winning streak.
"You can kind of feel it," manager Don Mattingly said. "We've been swinging the bat better, particularly those two games in New York. We've shown flashes of really being able to put big innings together."
San Diego caught a hot streak in June, having won 13 of its last 18 to pull above .500.
Chris Capuano, who hasn't pitched on three days' rest since 2005 -- before he had two Tommy John surgeries -- will do just that as he takes the mound against the Friars for Sunday's series finale.
Capuano has also been on the disabled list twice this year -- in April for a strained calf muscle and most recently with a strained lat muscle. He came off the DL to start Wednesday against the Yankees, holding them scoreless in six innings with just 83 pitches, before volunteering to pitch on short rest.
"I felt like he was our best chance," Mattingly said. "From the day he pitched the other day, he felt it was one of his easiest starts. If we called somebody up and got five innings, we'd have been happy. We're confident we're not taking any chances with him. He's confident we're not taking any chances."
A win for the Padres on Sunday would give them three of their last four. And a good pitching performance from Andrew Cashner couldn't hurt, as they get ready to take on the Phillies and their improving offense for a three-game set starting Monday.
Cashner, the key ingredient in a trade that sent Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs, has emerged as a reliable young starter for the Padres. His fastball isn't averaging 98 mph like it was last year; instead he's throwing 94 mph, though he has been able to work deeper into games. Cashner's pitched at least six innings in eight straight starts since May 6, going 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA in that stretch.
This will be Cashner's first career start against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: Familiar territory for A-Gon
As of Saturday, Adrian Gonzalez owned the seventh-highest career batting average (.376) against the Padres.
Especially satisfying? Perhaps, considering Gonzlaez spent five years with the Padres before getting shipped out to Boston before the 2011 season.
Gonzalez has hit safely in 18 of 21 career games against San Diego. He homered in the sixth inning to break up a no-hitter by Edinson Volquez on Saturday.
Padres: Almost blanked without Blanks
The Padres were on the verge of being shut out for the first time in almost a month on Saturday before putting up a run in the eighth inning. Without Kyle Blanks, offense was tough to come by.
Blanks has been on a tear this month. As of Saturday, he was tied for ninth in the Majors with 10 extra-base hits (five doubles, five homers) in June.
But the slugging outfielder was held out with tightness in his lower back. The Padres aren't sure how long he's expected to be out of action, though it doesn't appear to be a long-term issue.
"Kyle plays hard," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He told me this has happened before, and usually it resolves itself very quick."
• Carlos Quentin (left shoulder) returned to the Padres' lineup Saturday for the first time since June 14, and showed some rust, going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.
• Watch out for the running game: The Padres have stolen more bases than any team in baseball, while the Dodgers have caught 57.8 percent of basestealers, second best in the Majors. Catcher A.J. Ellis ranks second with 14 runners caught in 30 attempts.