Dodgers keep playoff hopes alive

Dodgers keep playoff hopes alive

LOS ANGELES -- The National League West-leading Padres' losing streaked reached nine games Saturday with a 6-2 loss to the Rockies, and it means the Dodgers' best chances to make the playoffs might lie in an NL West title instead of the Wild Card.

"We've dug ourselves a hole and we have to be able to work our way out, which is certainly possible," Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. "Because if you asked somebody a couple weeks ago, the prospects of San Diego losing seven, eight, nine games in a row -- never happen. Their pitching's too good, their defense, and all of a sudden, here we are. They're at home and now they're struggling -- strange things happen this time of year."

The Padres' loss put the Dodgers 7 1/2 games back of San Diego entering Saturday night's game vs. San Francisco, with the Giants 2 1/2 out and the Rockies 5 1/2 out. The Dodgers stood eight games back in the Wild Card, but there are five teams between them and the top.

"In order to win two, three, four, five, six, seven games in a row, you have to do it one a time," Torre said. "I know it sounds pretty simple, but every once in a while you're peeking. You're looking at that leaderboard. You can't do that; you got to control what you can and hope that what you wind up doing is good enough."

The Dodgers play just one out-of-division opponent the rest of the way, the Astros for a four-game set in Houston next week.

Once the Dodgers' postseason hopes are determined, for better or worse, Torre has said he would announce whether he will return to the team next year. But up until Friday, he had been willing to discuss his thought process -- not so the last two days.

"I can't fight you guys or try to get around you," Torre told reporters. "You guys are good at what you do; fold up the tent is what I'm doing right now. In due time I'll make an announcement."