And now a voice from the Dodgers’ not-so-distant past.
Scott Van Slyke, who has seemingly spent half his season jettisoning up and down between the Dodgers and the minors this season, was summoned to pinch-hit in the 11th inning Tuesday in game deadlocked at 3-3.
Van Slyke responded with a two-run homer to lift the Dodgers to a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 41,867 that cut their magic number for clinching the division to six.
The bullpen returned to form Tuesday, with five different relievers – Paco Rodriguez, Ronald Belisario, Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell and Chris Withrow -- shutting out the Diamondbacks over the final five innings.
Withrow picked up the victory to raise his record to 3-0.
Mark Ellis singled with one out off Josh Cullmenter in the 11th before the Dodgers called on Van Slyke. He drilled the second pitch he saw into the left-field stands for his seventh home run. It was the first walk-off hit of career.
Edison Volquez made his second start for the Dodgers, and offered definite improvement. Expectations are low, so there’s that.
But Volquez gave the Dodgers six solid innings. He allowed three runs on just four hits and a walk, striking out five. Maybe not brilliant, but effective. And with Chris Capuano out with a groin strain, probably enough to stay in the rotation.
The Dodgers staked Volquez to a 2-0 lead in the second, scoring a pair of unearned runs. Juan Uribe, he of the three-homer night on Monday, started this rally with a walk and took second on a Trevor Cahill wild pitch.
Mark Ellis singled to right and Uribe briefly considered scoring, but was held up by third base coach Tim Wallach. A wise decision, since right-fielder Gerardo Parra threw a bullet to the plate.
Volquez then attempted to sacrifice, but his bunt went just a couple feet in front of the plate. Catcher Miguel Montero scooped it up and fired to second. A good throw likely would have been in time, but Montero one-hopped it slightly wide of the bag and it skipped into center for an error.
That scored Uribe and sent Ellis to third. Yasiel Puig hit into a force play that scored Ellis, and the Dodgers were up 2-0.
The Diamondbacks got one run back in the fourth. Until that point, Volquez had allowed only one hit, but he gave up single to Paul Goldschmidt and then threw a wild pitch that moved him to second. Montero singled under the glove of a diving Uribe at third to score Goldschmidt.
The Diamondbacks took the lead in the fifth after Parra walked. Shortstop DiDi Gregorius then launched his seventh home run of the year to leave Arizona up 3-2.
The Dodgers tied it back up in the bottom of the inning after Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez walked with two outs. Andre Ethier doubled to the right-field corner to score Ramirez. Gonzalez, not exactly fleet on the bases, was held at third.
Cahill went six innings for the Diamondbacks, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks, with two strikeouts.