On the surface, the Dodgers' 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday appeared significant only because it allowed them to salvage a six-game trip that started disastrously.

But in the details of the Dodgers' second win in three days at Citi Field, Adrian Gonzalez saw promise.

"You look at the greatest teams in any sport, they play fundamentally right," Gonzalez said.

The Dodgers didn't hit any home runs. They collected only five hits and were in danger of wasting another top-shelf pitching performance, this one by Hyun-Jin Ryu, who held the Mets to one run over seven innings.

What encouraged Gonzalez was how the Dodgers manufactured their go-ahead runs in the ninth inning. With the score tied, 1-1, Nick Punto led off with a double to right-center against left-hander Scott Rice.

Gonzalez moved him to third base by grounding out to first.

Matt Kemp drew an intentional walk, setting up a run-scoring single by Andre Ethier. Kemp scored on an infield hit by Juan Uribe against right-hander Bobby Parnell to increase the lead to 3-1.

"It's fundamentals," said Gonzalez, who said he did exactly what he wanted in his at-bat.

"The only thing on my mind is to hit the ball on the ground to the right side," Gonzalez said. "At the worst, I'll get him over. At the best, it will sneak through and I'll get an RBI hit. I know I've got Matt and Andre behind me. Who else do I want coming up with a runner on third and one out?"

Kemp's insurance run proved crucial when closer Brandon League served up a leadoff home run to Ike Davis in the bottom of the inning.

There was an air of restrained optimism in the clubhouse before the Dodgers departed for Los Angeles, where they will host the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series that starts Friday. Players talked about how they won three of the last four games on a trip that started with great difficultly: losing both games of a doubleheader in Baltimore and learning that Chad Billingsley would have a season-ending elbow operation.

There were reasons for the Dodgers to be upbeat that went beyond the losses they overcame.

Kemp was 11 for 24 (.458) on this trip, including two for three Thursday. He drove in five runs in the last four games. That was as many runs batted in as he had in his first 17 games of the season.

"It's a matter of time for him," Ethier said. "He's such a good player, he's going to figure something out. You can see how that helps our offense a ton."