SAN DIEGO -- With only six regular-season games left, the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers are focusing on preparations for the playoffs.
Zack Greinke combined with three relievers on a two-hitter and Adrian Gonzalez scored an unearned run to lead the Dodgers over the San Diego Padres 1-0 Sunday.Greinke allowed both hits over five innings, lowering his ERA to 2.67. He threw just 72 pitches."It was just a lighter day," Greinke said. "I was fine with it."He is 7-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 11 starts since a July 25 loss to Cincinnati and 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in three starts against the Padres this year. Greinke figures to start Game 2 of the NL division series after ace Clayton Kershaw pitches the opener."It was really more of a solid five innings than anything else," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "His next one will be more of a regular one."J.P. Howell (4-1) pitched a perfect sixth, Chris Withrow walked two over two innings and Kenley Jensen struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save in 31 chances.Los Angeles threw its 21st shutout, four more than any other big league team.San Diego, which won 2-0 on Friday night, was held scoreless over the final 21 innings of the three-game series."We didn't do well this weekend," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We didn't get the big hit."Andrew Cashner (10-9) took a two-hitter into the seventh when Gonzalez singled with one out, Matt Kemp struck out and Michael Young doubled off the right-field wall. Will Venable bobbled the ball and Gonzalez came home after initially being held by third base coach Tim Wallach."A lot of the credit goes to our pitching staff," Young said. "They did a great job. Any time they do really well, the defense feeds off that."Cashner allowed four hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He was coming off a two-hit shutout of Pittsburgh in his previous start.After throwing a career-high 175 innings, Cashner likely was making his final start this season, according to Black."I made two mistakes," Cashner said. "One was foul -- and the other one to Young."
Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez started for just the third time in 10 games. Ramirez, who has been fighting back and hamstring ailments, was removed after six innings. ... Mattingly said he will likely use a four-man rotation in the NL division series and carry 11 pitchers. ... Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-7, 3.03 ERA) will oppose Giants RHP Matt Cain (8-9, 4.06) at San Francisco when the clubs open a three-game series on Tuesday night. ... Diamondbacks RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-9, 4.57) faces Padres LHP Eric Stults (9-13, 4.02) on Monday night, starting San Diego's final home series.
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SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning of a...