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Padres find motivation in final set vs. Dodgers

September 21, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- Contrary to the words of a certain Dodgers closer, the Padres do, indeed, care about their weekend series in Los Angeles. Very much so."We want to win just as much as they do," said Padres left fielder Hunter Renfroe.Earlier this week, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was quoted

LOS ANGELES -- Contrary to the words of a certain Dodgers closer, the Padres do, indeed, care about their weekend series in Los Angeles. Very much so.
"We want to win just as much as they do," said Padres left fielder Hunter Renfroe.
Earlier this week, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, talking about the series against the Padres, saying, "They don't care, they're already planning their vacations." His comment was in response to a question about the Dodgers' need to beat the teams well below them in the standings -- which they've struggled to do this season.
Jansen continued: "We need to come out there and swing and don't take [our foot] off the gas pedal."
Those words weren't exactly bulletin-board material in the Padres' clubhouse.
"I'm not worried about what he says at all," said Padres manager Andy Green. "I'm more worried about what he throws on the mound than what he says in the paper."
"It could've been any team," said third baseman William Myers. "It was a generic comment. ... It's not anything I take offense to or anything. But any time you come up here, face a team in the division, a rival, we're looking forward to it. We're excited about [this series]."
A couple Padres weren't even aware of Jansen's comment until it was brought to their attention before Friday's game. Renfroe was one of them, and he didn't seem to mind Jansen's words -- though he did clarify the importance of the series to the Padres.
"We've got a chance to knock them out, so for now that's what we play for," Renfroe said. "We want to make it hard on them. ... In the bigger picture, it wouldn't mean anything more than any other wins. But it does mean something to us right now."
Last month, the Padres were swept in a sloppy three-game series in Los Angeles. Since then, they've played better baseball. Perhaps more than anything, they're eager to get that sour taste out of their mouths.
"We've got a lot to show," Renfroe said.
Jankowski returns
Padres outfielder Travis Jankowski re-joined the club after missing the past two games to attend the birth of his son, Bentley.
Jankowski flew cross-country on Tuesday morning and arrived in his native Lancaster, Pa., hours before his wife, Lindsey, gave birth.
"It was tough to leave, spending less than 72 hours with him," Jankowski said with a smile.
Typically, the lefty-hitting Jankowski would've started Friday night against a right-hander like Thomas Stripling, but Green held him out of the lineup, given the multiple cross-country flights over the past few days.
"I don't know how to describe it, other than it's unbelievable," Jankowski said.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.