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Dodgers seem to have their closer situation sorted out

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres celebrates his solo home run in front of Will Smith of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to take a 1-0 lead, during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres reacts to a strike during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Ha-Seong Kim of the San Diego Padres celebrates his solo home run with Manny Machado, to trail 3-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts of the San Diego Padres celebrates a pick off of Miguel Vargas of the Los Angeles Dodgers by Joe Musgrove, to end the second inning at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres pitches during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Dodgers fans hold up syringes during an at bat by Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts with Miguel Vargas after a bloop single from Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

J.D. Martinez of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his solo home run with Max Muncy as he comes in to score, to take a 3-1 lead over the San Diego Padres, during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres reacts as he comes off the mound at the end of the first inning trailing 3-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Caleb Ferguson of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his save and a 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres with J.D. Martinez at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Caleb Ferguson of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his strikeout of Jake Cronenworth of the San Diego Padres to end the game and a 4-2 win at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Caleb Ferguson of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his strikeout of Jake Cronenworth of the San Diego Padres to end the game and a 4-2 win at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

San Diego Padres’ Juan Soto celebrates with Xander Bogaerts after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias is greeted in the dugout before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

San Diego Padres’ Ha-Seong Kim celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

San Diego Padres’ Ha-Seong Kim celebrates as he crosses home plate after hitting a home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Dodger Stadium is reflected in the sunglasses of San Diego Padres’ Manny Machado as he returns to the dugout after flying out during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

J.D. Martinez of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his solo home run with Dino Ebel, to take a 3-1 lead over the San Diego Padres, during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES ― All the Dodgers’ bullpen needed was time ― and three trips to the delivery room.

Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol and Caleb Ferguson teamed up to close out the final two innings of the Dodgers’ 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Each became a father in the last month, then returned from the birth of their child to assume a high-leverage relief role in a much-improved Dodger bullpen.

Now, manager Dave Roberts said, “We feel that any one of those guys can finish a game, can close a game.”

Saturday it was Ferguson’s turn, but only after Graterol started the ninth inning and allowed a pair of two-out singles. The first, an infield single by Xander Bogaerts, was initially called the third out of the inning after third baseman Max Muncy made a bare-handed pickup and throw across the infield. But the call was overturned after the Padres challenged the “out” call at first base, and both teams stayed on the field.

The next batter, Nelson Cruz, hit a clean single to the outfield to bring up Jake Cronenworth, a left-handed hitter. Rather than let the right-handed Graterol continue, Roberts was ready to bring in Ferguson to optimize the left-on-left matchup.

Ferguson struck out Cronenworth to end the game, his first save of the season ― and his first in any season since 2018.

Phillips recorded a five-out save ― he induced a double-play groundout to end the eighth inning, then threw 10 more pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth ― to close out Friday’s win. It was Phillips’ team-leading seventh save of the season, but Roberts demonstrated Saturday that the Dodgers do not have a designated closer.

For now, that’s OK. The Dodgers are a top-10 team in ERA in the eighth and ninth innings this season, and they seem to have their bullpen pecking order sorted out.

“To be able to perform at any point, where we feel helps our ball club, is huge back there,” Roberts said. “That’s a credit to all of those guys.”

SYNDERGAARD UPDATE

Noah Syndergaard threw a bullpen session Saturday afternoon to test the cut on his right index finger. He threw approximately 50 pitches without any apparent concern for the injury, a good omen for the veteran right-hander.

If Syndergaard is cleared by the Dodgers’ training staff, he will start against the Minnesota Twins on Monday, six days after the cut broke open in Milwaukee and Syndergaard could not contain the bleeding. He exited that game after one inning.

Manager Dave Roberts explained that Syndergaard did not use a Dermabond adhesive to close the cut on his finger prior to the game in Milwaukee because “we thought we were out of the woods.” Syndergaard did use the Dermabond adhesive during his bullpen session and will do so if he starts Monday.

The Dodgers were granted permission by Major League Baseball to apply Dermabond, which is technically a “foreign substance,” to Syndergaard’s pitching hand.

If Syndergaard is unable to pitch Monday, the Dodgers are expected to recall Gavin Stone from Triple-A. Stone is scheduled to pitch Sunday for Oklahoma City.

MUNCY ‘SCUFFLING’

Muncy is still under the weather, Roberts said, despite having played in 13 of the Dodgers’ last 14 games. He has just 2 hits in his last 26 at-bats, dropping his batting average to .203.

“He’s been scuffling,” Roberts said. “Physically, he’s better. There’s this chest cough he can’t get past but he’s doing all right. He’s hanging in there.”

Muncy has seen his OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage fall from 1.152, among the highest in baseball, to .871 since April 28.

UP NEXT

Dodgers (RHP Tony Gonsolin 0-1, 1.93) vs. San Diego (LHP Ryan Weathers, 1-1, 2.50), 1:10 p.m., Sunday, SportsNet LA, 570 AM

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