LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Tuesday, in their eighth game of the season, matched their comeback quotient for all of 2014, the latest a 6-5 walk-off win over the Mariners in the second game of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The score was the same as Monday, the walk-off result similar, even the game-winning hit in roughly the same area. It even followed a night when home runs put the Dodgers behind early. But they found a way to come back, again.
"The quality of our at-bats have been really good. That game that San Diego beats us with their guy at the end [Craig Kimbrel, on April 7], our guys had good at-bats when they were down four runs, and that just wasn't happening last year," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "That showed me a lot. It's what we talked about wanting, just make the guy fight for his outs. Just keep putting quality at-bats up, and good things will happen for us."
Down 3-0 early, the Dodgers clawed back to within one a few times, but this time didn't get the tie until the ninth inning, when both the tying and winning runs scored on Howie Kendrick's single.
"You're going to have a lot of chances with runners in scoring position, especially in that 3-4-5-6 range. You're not going to get it done every time. But the times you do get it done, you try to make it count," Kendrick said. "All we can do is put together good at-bats, and hopefully the results are there."
The Dodgers were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position until Kendrick's winning hit.
Justin Turner started the winning rally in the ninth inning with a single.
"Considering how many games we've already been playing behind and have come back and won, there was some stupid stat last year where we only won one or two games when trailing after six or seven," Turner recalled.
The Dodgers in 2014 were 2-54 when trailing after six innings, and 1-53 when trailing after seven innings, both marks worst in baseball. Monday's comeback win was tied after five, six, and seven innings.
This year, the Dodgers are 2-1 when trailing after six innings, and 1-1 when trailing after seven innings.
The Dodgers are happy to bank any wins they can, and think this early comeback success will lead to even more later in the season.
"It creates confidence and expectations for the whole team knowing it doesn't matter how many runs we're down by, we still have outs left so we still have a chance to win the game," Turner said.
"It just depends on the character of the players. If you have guys believing, everyone gets locked in. All that stuff keeps building and building," Kendrick said. "Every time you're down, you're never really out of the game. You just keep putting up one run at a time, next thing you know you're back in the mix. The last couple days we've had guys doing that."
The Dodgers go for a fourth straight win on Wednesday and a series sweep, with Brett Anderson on the mound making his first home start as a Dodger. The Mariners will counter with Taijuan Walker.
Wednesday night is the 2015 Civil Rights Game and is Jackie Robinson Day, with all players wearing number 42 to honor to former Dodgers Hall of Fame pioneer on the anniversary of his 1947 major league debut. The 7:10 p.m. PT game will be televised nationally by ESPN2 with no blackout in the Los Angeles area, in addition to the SportsNet LA broadcast.