Gordon, 'pen come through in end for Dodgers

Gordon, 'pen come through in end for Dodgers

Gordon, 'pen come through in end for Dodgers
PHILADELPHIA -- The Dodgers are a Thursday win away from their first ever four-game sweep in this city, and now they're winning even when they don't get starting pitching.

Chris Capuano allowed three home runs in five innings, but the Dodgers rallied to beat the struggling Phillies anyway, 6-5, on another winning performance by Dee Gordon and four crucial innings from the bullpen on Wednesday.

Gordon, who scored the game-winning run Monday and Tuesday, delivered the go-ahead hit Wednesday night with a two-run single during a three-run sixth inning that turned a possible loss for Capuano into his eighth win in 10 decisions.

Relievers Todd Coffey (1 1/3 innings), Scott Elbert (two-thirds of an inning) and Josh Lindblom (one inning) set it up for Kenley Jansen, who battled through an exhaustive 32 pitches for his third save in as many days (58 pitches in that span).

How does manager Don Mattingly stay so calm en route to a league-leading 16 one-run wins.

"Medication," he deadpanned.

"I get nervous when we get leads of three or four runs. It's like you have a bird and don't want it to fly away. Close games, you're just in it and you don't think about it."

Mattingly had to go to the Jansen well again, because Capuano, coming off his worst start of the season in Coors Field, couldn't keep the ball inside cozy Citizens Bank Park.

Admitting to having some "nagging leg things, but nothing serious enough to affect me going forward," Capuano struck out five of the first nine batters he faced, then none of the next 11.

He was taken deep by former Dodgers farmhand Shane Victorino in the second inning and Ty Wigginton leading off the fifth. With two outs in that fifth inning, Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run homer that had Mattingly second-guessing himself for letting Capuano decide to pitch to the right-handed Rollins with first base open and the left-handed Juan Pierre on deck.

"I should take that decision out of his hands," said Mattingly.

But the Dodgers took the game back in the top of the sixth. After an A.J. Ellis single, a James Loney double and a Tony Gwynn hit-by-pitch, pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston somehow worked a bases-loaded walk on close pitches to make it 4-3.

"Sinker missed a little down. It was close," said Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. "I don't know how he took it."

Gordon followed by singling in two more runs off left-hander Raul Valdes, who had replaced Kendrick.

"They kind of took the momentum there in the fifth on Jimmy's homer with two outs, and we got it right back," said Mattingly. "If we don't, they keep the momentum, but we jumped right back in."

Elian Herrera was at it again in the ninth, doubling with one out and scoring an insurance run on Loney's bases-loaded walk that proved decisive.

That's because, with a two-run lead and pitching for the third consecutive day, Jansen was put through a 12-pitch ordeal by Carlos Ruiz, who was hit with the 12th pitch and scored on Wigginton's one-out double, snapping Jansen's scoreless games streak at seven.

Jansen struck out John Mayberry Jr., walked Mike Fontenot on a 3-2 pitch and then ended the game with pinch-hitter Brian Schneider popping up after Schneider pulled a long foul into the upper deck.

"I'm exhausted right now," said Jansen, whom Mattingly said will be off-limits Thursday and maybe Friday. "What a great at-bat by Carlos Ruiz. It's another learning experience for me as a closer to make 12 pitches. I've got to learn, I've got to battle, but I went through it. Even if you're tired and your stuff isn't that good that day. It was a tough at-bat, but I've got a two-run lead and I don't care about that run."

With Ronald Belisario needing a day off, Mattingly got four big outs from Coffey, who was virtually invisible the first two months of the season because of inconsistency.

"Todd did a nice job," said Mattingly. "He's slowly creeping into more meaningful situations. And Elbert is on a roll and we can count on him to get outs. Josh was solid. We'll be a little light tomorrow."

Capuano is now 8-2, but not nearly as sharp as he was the first two months.

"I've got to be smart, make them use the big part of the park and I didn't do that," said Capuano, who has allowed four homers in his past six innings after allowing five homers his first 10 starts. "The home runs are definitely command. Not taking anything away from Wigginton and Jerry, but those aren't real quality pitches. I have to get back on track."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.