LOS ANGELES (AP) - Boosted by rookie Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez, the Los Angeles Dodgers climbed from last to second in the NL West at the All-Star break. A healthy Matt Kemp is expected back in the lineup soon.
The Dodgers open the second half of the season Friday night at Washington, the start of a six-game trip that includes three games in Toronto. The Dodgers are within 2 1/2 games of first-place Arizona in the NL West after trailing the Diamondbacks by 9 1/2 games in June.
They are 17-5 - the majors' best record - since June 21, when they were a season-worst 12 games under .500.
That's when manager Don Mattingly was on the hot seat, facing rumors that his job was in jeopardy. Injuries to Ramirez and pitcher Zack Greinke, the offensive struggles of Kemp and Andre Ethier, and losing pitchers Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett to season-ending surgeries only added to their woes.
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