LOS ANGELES -- A day after playing one of their poorest games of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers played one of their best.
According to right-hander Jeff Weaver, it was also one of their most important.
Weaver pitched into the eighth inning, Antonio Perez hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the fifth, and the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 4-2 Wednesday in the rubber game of a three-game series.
The game began shortly after noon local time, leaving the Dodgers little time to think about a sloppy 8-3 loss to the Padres the night before.
That was a good thing.
"We beat ourselves last night. I hate doing that," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "It's important you bounce back and do it right the following day."
The victory was just the fourth in 16 games for the Dodgers and moved them within 5½ games of the NL West-leading Padres. Los Angeles has won eight of the 12 games between the teams and is 21-14 against division opponents this year.
"I think today was the biggest win for me and us as a whole," Weaver said. "To take two out of three when they've got a chance to expand the lead has to give us a lot of confidence."
Weaver (7-7) allowed six hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings while walking three and striking out five. He has pitched six or more innings in each of his last seven starts and in 13 of 17 this season.
Kelly Wunsch relieved after Damian Jackson bunted for a hit to start the eighth and Geoff Blum followed with a hard grounder on a hit-and-run play that struck Jackson between first and second. Blum was credited with a single on the play and Jackson was ruled out. Ryan Klesko lined to right and Brian Giles grounded to Wunsch to end the inning.
Weaver singled for his eighth hit of the season and Cesar Izturis beat out a bunt before Perez hit a 2-0 pitch from Darrell May (1-3) over the left-center field wall in the fifth to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. It was Perez's second homer of the year and the fourth in his career.
"I'm looking for a fastball on the outside corner," Perez said. "It was down the middle."
The Dodgers scored in the second when Jeff Kent doubled and scored on Jayson Werth's one-out single. The Padres tied it in the fifth when Khalil Greene opened with an infield single and scored from second on a two-out single by Jackson.
"He's a good pitcher," Greene said of Weaver. "He knows what he needs to do to get you out. He has a game plan and he definitely doesn't stray from it. He makes his pitches and he spots them well, and he's a competitive guy.
"Of course we would have liked to have played better and maybe distanced ourselves from them a little bit, but those type of things happen."
Kent went 3-for-4 to raise his batting average to .303 and give him 1,995 hits in his career.
"It just means I've been around for a long time," Kent said of his hit total. He went 7-for-12 in the three-game series.
May allowed 10 hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
"It's very frustrating," he said of Perez's homer. "I thought I was throwing the ball good. Even though I gave a lot of hits, there weren't a lot of balls that were hit extremely hard until that one."
Giles doubled to open the San Diego second, but was thrown out trying to take third on Robert Fick's fly to right fielder Cody Ross.
Weaver walked the first two batters in the sixth, but Fick hit into a double play and Xavier Nady grounded to short to end the inning.
- Dodgers LHP Odalis Perez will make his fourth rehab start Thursday night for Triple-A Las Vegas, and is scheduled to rejoin the rotation Tuesday in Colorado. He hasn't pitched since May 14 because of a sore shoulder.
- Padres OF Dave Roberts missed his fifth game because of a sore left knee. Manager Bruce Bochy said he believes Roberts will be back in the lineup Friday night against San Francisco.
- Despite the Dodgers' recent problems, their starting pitchers have gone at least six innings in 16 of their last 21 games.
- San Diego's Miguel Ojeda stole the second base of his career in the third. The 30-year-old catcher has played in 164 major-league games.
- Izturis' bunt single snapped an 0-for-21 drought.