With all their might and their money to buy more might when they need it, the Dodgers loom large any time they sit in the opposing dugout. On Friday, the Padres were in the unenviable position of tackling their NL West rivals without the projected middle of their order.

Seth Smith nearly bridged that gap himself. Late reinforcements finished the job.

The Padres’ left fielder turned in his first two-homer game in nearly three years and Everth Cabrera capped a three-run ninth-inning rally with a sacrifice fly that sent the Padres to a 6-5 win Friday night in front of a crowd of 31,119 at Petco Park, a rare third-straight victory for a team in need of a lift in more ways than one.

"This has been a tough week for us, for San Diego,” Padres manager Bud Black said after watching his team come from behind to win its last three games. “When you look at the whole week, more so than the game, it's good to win. It's good to win for the city. It's good to play a good game and get an emotional win.”

Especially considering the circumstances.

The Padres hadn’t won three in a row since rattling off four straight victories in mid-May to close to within two games of .500.

One month and several injuries and prolonged slumps later, the Padres had plunged to a season-high 13 games under .500 after a 1-7 road trip that didn’t compare to the loss at home: Iconic Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn’s stunning death Monday at the age of 54.

Yet Black’s team emerged from Wednesday’s pre-game tribute to Gwynn with an emotional win, rallied again for a victory Thursday and railed against long odds Friday night as the Dodgers looked to bury the Padres even deeper in the NL West.