The Los Angeles Dodgers erased a 9.5 game deficit in the standings in less than 30 days for the second season in a row. After beating the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, the Dodgers notched another series win and are now in a tie with the San Francisco Giants for first place in the NL West.

Although the team has made up the margin, they do not feel as though the mission has been completed. Players have came out and said that the pennant is not won in June, especially since the Dodgers have nine games left against the Giants, six of which are in September.

According to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, manager Don Mattingly has been pleased with the Dodgers’ recent play:

We feel good about the way we’re playing. I feel like we’ve hopefully hit a stride where we can kinda keep this pace up. Continue to win series.”

With their move in the standings, the team does have something to feel positive heading into the month of July. The Dodgers have won 12 of their last 16 and have won five consecutive series. The Giants have lost 15 of their last 19 games and are in a downward spiral with the All-Star break approaching.

Mattingly did put the current success into perspective, and realizes that there’s a long push left this season:

But we know there is a long ways to go. We’re barely past half [of the season]. It does feel good to climb a little bit of mountain. When you’re way back there, you’re in danger of a bad week putting you in real trouble. At least now you can survive a rough week. It’s a good feeling at this point, but a long way to go.”

The Dodgers gear up for a three-game interleague series against the Cleveland Indians at Chavez Ravine starting Monday. After that, the Dodgers will head out for a six-game road trip before heading home for a four-game set with the San Diego Padres before the All-Star break.

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