Dodgers-Padres Preview

The offense went cold for the Los Angeles Dodgers during an extended losing streak in mid-August.

They haven't needed it much since.

Brett Anderson will try to extend a stellar pitching stretch for the Dodgers on Sunday in the finale of a four-game road series against the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (77-58) has averaged 4.0 runs per game in its last 12, far higher than the 1.80 mark it held during a five-game skid from Aug. 18-23. The pitching, though, has been the real difference as the Dodgers have solidified their division lead with 10 wins in 12 games to move a season-best 19 over .500.

Los Angeles has a major league-best 2.17 ERA since Aug. 25, helping push its NL West lead to 7 1/2 games over San Francisco.

Anderson (8-8, 3.43 ERA) has contributed to two wins in that stretch, allowing six runs - three earned - and 11 hits over 11 2-3 innings against Cincinnati and the Giants.

The left-hander has permitted three earned runs or fewer in 23 of his 26 starts this season, including four straight.

Alex Wood was in complete control in Saturday's 2-0 win, allowing three hits in seven innings.

''Credit to the Dodgers' pitchers,'' Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. ''He threw the ball very well and kept us off-balance.''

Anderson, who hasn't faced the Padres (65-71) since 2009, is 4-1 with a 1.87 ERA in his last seven road starts.

San Diego starter Andrew Cashner has a 1-3 record and 1.98 ERA in nine starts against the Dodgers, limiting them to two earned runs over 13 innings in his two most recent this season.

Cashner (5-13, 4.15) has failed to complete six innings in his last two starts, allowing four runs and eight hits over five before leaving without a decision in an 8-6 loss to Texas on Tuesday.

This is a very favorable matchup for Adrian Gonzalez, who is batting .367 with four homers in 30 at-bats against Cashner.

Jimmy Rollins, though, is 0 for 15 versus the right-hander.

While the Dodgers' offense has come to life lately, scoring 17 runs in the first three games of the series and hitting a season-high five home runs in Friday's 8-4 win, catcher Yasmani Grandal is 0 for 33 with 15 strikeouts in his last 11 games.

Manager Don Mattingly said he isn't considering moving the Grandal to the bench, though.

"It happens a lot," Mattingly told MLB's official website. "Guys go through periods of time where they struggle. ... Confidence is a big part of that. Next thing you know he gets two hits, he feels good, he's on a roll."

With two hits Saturday, Matt Kemp has reached base safely in a career-best 25 consecutive games for the Padres. It is the longest active streak in the NL.

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