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Dodgers take pride in manufacturing runs

Runs pile up without homers for LA

LOS ANGELES -- Over the past couple of games, the long ball has slowly become a scarce resource for the Dodgers' offense.

Sure, Andre Ethier launched one into the right-field bleachers Tuesday night, but that blast marked just the Dodgers' third homer in the past nine games. That stint includes contests in hitter-friendly Coors Field and Wrigley Field.

Those numbers might signal trouble ahead to some, but not to manager Joe Torre. He likes how the Dodgers have managed to lead the National League in runs while ranking No. 13 in the league in home runs.

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"It's in contradiction of what ESPN thinks," he said Wednesday afternoon. "There's a way to win games without home runs.

" ... We have the ability to manufacture, which I'm excited about. I've had clubs that are power-type clubs and you have pitchers that have a better chance to shut you down because you're giving them bigger holes to pitch to."

The Dodgers' ability to string together a rally was on display Tuesday night against the D-backs when they turned a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 advantage in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Just one of the Dodgers' four hits in the inning went for extra bases (first baseman James Loney's three-run double), a testament to their knack for creating their own scoring opportunities.

"When you have a team made up of players that use the whole field, jab more so than knockout punch, I think the chances are better," Torre said.

It's not to say that the Dodgers are comprised of a bunch of hitters that go to the box only thinking singles.

There's pop in the dugout, as evidenced in Ethier's home run and Loney's double over the head of Arizona center fielder Chris Young.

"We have guys that can hit home runs," Loney said Wednesday. "That's the thing, our team actually has power. It's just getting certain pitches to hit, sometimes you're not going to get home runs on those pitches. So our guys take what they give us and try to get on base."

Right now, that strategy has worked well for the Dodgers. Manufactured or via the long ball -- a run's still a run.

"We have been [manufacturing runs] lately," Loney said. "Hey, whatever it takes."

David Ely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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