Dodgers take series with Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - No mention of magic numbers, not yet. Joe Torre doesn't want to hear it.

"Don't even talk about that," the Dodgers skipper interrupted when the topic came up.

His club sure looks poised for the playoffs with three weeks left.

Russell Martin hit a three-run homer, Vicente Padilla pitched six strong innings and singled in a run and Los Angeles topped its win total from 2008 with a 9-1 victory over the sinking San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.

Padilla (3-0) struck out five and didn't allow an earned run to remain unbeaten since signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers on Aug. 19 following his release by the Rangers. First-place Los Angeles moved three games ahead of Colorado, which lost in San Diego, in the NL West. The Giants remained 5 1/2-games behind the Rockies in the wild-card race.

"If we win games, nothing can happen to us," Torre said. "That's the way I look at it."

James Loney added a two-run homer in the ninth as Los Angeles (85-58) matched a season best by moving 27 games above .500 for the third time this year. Matt Kemp and Rafael Furcal each added an RBI double and Manny Ramirez tripled, singled and scored on a wild pitch.

Torre believes his team can get to 30 games over before things are done.

The Giants lost their fourth straight, matching their longest home skid of the season also done from May 13-16. San Francisco lost for the fifth time in six games and seventh in 11 - far from the results the club needs right now during a crucial stretch against the division's top two teams.

"We know the situation," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We need to win games. This is the last thing we wanted to happen. We haven't done too well in any facet of the game. It's time to regroup, punch back, whatever it takes to get on track."

Colorado is back in town Monday. The Giants had pulled even with the Rockies in the wild card Aug. 30 but have gone drastically down hill in September.

The Dodgers are going in the other direction: up. They have won six of their last seven road games and eight of 10 for their season-best fourth straight winning series away from Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles hadn't won four consecutive road series since Aug. 29-Sept. 18, 2008.

"It's fun being here," Padilla said. "I'm very happy. The boys welcomed me and it gives me more confidence. It's very simple: I just have to pitch."

Before this series began, Torre called for more from Furcal, Ramirez and Martin. Against the Giants, they've produced. Los Angeles outscored San Francisco 19-4 in the first two games.

"Furcal's getting better. Martin's getting better. Manny's getting better," Torre said.

The Dodgers got to San Francisco starter Jonathan Sanchez (6-12) in a hurry.

Sanchez was done after 4 1-3 innings and 92 pitches. The left-hander was tagged for five runs - four earned - and five hits, struck out four and walked three. He has only three wins in 11 starts since his improbable no-hitter July 10 against San Diego.

"We're always together. We're excited to be out there, but it's not working right now," Sanchez said. "We can't give up. We've got a lot of games left to play."

The Dodgers have won four of the last five in the rivalry and are 5-3 at the Giants' waterfront ballpark in 2008.

"We've still got 2 1/2 weeks left and we play the Giants four more times," Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson said. "Anything can happen."

NOTES: Padilla hadn't faced the Giants since Aug. 23, 2005, while with the Phillies. ... RHP Brad Penny will start Sunday for San Francisco against his former club. ... Injured Los Angeles LHPs Clayton Kershaw and Randy Wolf both threw - Kershaw off the mound and Wolf catch on flat ground. Kershaw was scratched earlier in the week for his scheduled start Sunday after bruising his right shoulder during pregame work last Sunday. Kershaw, 8-8 with a 2.89 ERA, ran into an auxiliary scoreboard in Dodger Stadium while shagging fly balls during batting practice. Wolf was to start Friday night vs. the Giants but has elbow irritation that required a cortisone shot. ... Giants 2B Freddy Sanchez was held out of the lineup with soreness in his shoulder, which already landed him on the DL since he joined the Giants in July after a trade from Pittsburgh. ... The Giants drew 41,710 fans for their 18th sellout.


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