When the Los Angeles Dodgers last faced the San Diego Padres, they were swept in a three-game series at Petco Park and the National League West remained up for grabs between themselves and the San Francisco Giants.
L.A. fell to 3-7 against San Diego in head-to-head meetings, and there was sensible frustration and disappointment from players. Justin Turner said he was looking forward to the next time the Dodgers and Padres met.
That wouldn’t come for two months, and the Dodgers’ return to Petco Park this week produced a three-game series sweep in their favor. The NL West race is all but down to the Dodgers and Giants, as the Padres have even fallen out of a spot for the Wild Card Game.
L.A. improved to 18-4 during the month of August, while San Diego is now 8-14 over that same span.
“You see those guys from afar and know they’ve had a tough last couple weeks. I think for us, we’ve just continued to play better baseball,” Roberts said after his team completed a sweep.
“We’re pitching well, we’re catching the baseball, timely hitting. Our guys smell it. We know it’s a sprint right now and we needed to tighten things up and play with some emotion and some energy. We did that this series.”
Despite their torrid stretch, the Dodgers remain 2.5 games back of the Giants for first place in the NL West. The division race could very well be decided next weekend when they meet for a series at Oracle Park. The matchup is the last this season between the storied rivals.
Dodgers focused internally
Although some — namely David Price and Roberts — have admitted to scoreboard watching over recent weeks, the Dodgers collectively have continued to stress a need to remain focused on themselves.
“We can’t worry abut what they’re doing,” Turner recently said of the Giants.
“We have to do our job, take care of our games and go out and win baseball games every night. If we take care of our business, I think we’ll be right where we need to be at the end.”
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