SAN DIEGO -- If Showtime is coming to the Dodgers, shortstop Dee Gordon wants to be right in the middle of it, as he was Saturday night.
He came up every two innings, got the Dodgers started and was big at the finish as they pulled out a 6-5 win over the Padres in 11 innings after blowing a five-run lead. The Dodgers have opened the season 3-0 for the first time since 1999.
Gordon, 1-for-10 coming in, went 3-for-4 with three stolen bases, two walks, two runs scored and hit the game-winning single with two outs in the 11th, bringing home catcher A.J. Ellis, who had a pretty big night himself.
"I just want to get on and help as much as possible," said Gordon.
Ellis, like Gordon a new starter in his first full Major League season, went 2-for-3 with a homer, two walks and two runs scored.
"This showed a different way we can win a game," Ellis said. The Dodgers won the two previous games this season with offense from Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier and a near-shutout from Chad Billingsley.
"Dee is such a high-energy guy. He gets on first base and everybody in the park expects him to run. As a catcher I understand that. You're calling pitches and ready to throw. It changes the whole game."
Kemp and Ethier did their part with a pair of RBIs each. And Chris Capuano, moved up to third in the starting rotation with the injury to Ted Lilly (who has a rehab start Sunday), looked pretty much like Billingsley through 4 1/3 innings of his Dodgers debut -- until the wheels suddenly flew off.
By the time the bottom of the fifth was over, a 5-0 lead turned into a 5-5 tie. Capuano had to be removed one out shy of qualifying for the win after issuing three walks.
"It was frustrating," said Capuano. "For 4 2/3 I had great stuff and I've got to have the mindset to challenge hitters to put it in play. To their credit, they had a couple good at-bats by [Chris] Denorfia and [Chase] Headley. I think I tried to make perfect pitches. I need to be aggressive there, attack the plate."
He was followed by Jamey Wright, who threw eight consecutive balls. Scott Elbert was next, and he threw a wild pitch and hit a batter before allowing the tying single to former teammate Orlando Hudson, the inning ending only when the Padres ran into the third out.
For the inning, Dodgers pitchers walked five, hit one, with a wild pitch. On the game, Dodgers pitchers walked 10.
"Momentum gets a little crazy," manager Don Mattingly said of the fifth inning. "We were able to stop it with the rundown and got out of it or who knows what happens?"
What happened after that was nearly as unlikely. The bullpen restored order. Mike MacDougal, Matt Guerrier and Todd Coffey pitched scoreless innings, Kenley Jansen rebounded with two perfect innings and Javy Guerra secured his second save in three games.
And none of that would have mattered if Gordon hadn't run the Padres ragged. He singled in the first inning, stole second, took third when Mark Ellis gave himself up with a grounder to second and scored on Kemp's sacrifice fly.
He started a three-run third inning with a two-out walk and stole second before Kemp's RBI single and Ethier's two-run double.
"Two-out walks ... usually bad things happen," Padres starter Dustin Moseley said. "Two out walks shouldn't happen for a pitcher like me."
Gordon doubled leading off the fifth, walked leading off the seventh and flied out in the ninth, just missing a homer, before his 11th-inning game-winner, the first of his career.
"I've said all spring this kid can hit," said Mattingly, who indicated that Gordon has the green light unless situations dictate otherwise and about the only way to keep him from successfully stealing is for a pitcher not to come to a full stop in the set position.
"That inning he walked with two outs, it turned into an inning for us," said Mattingly. "Stolen base, next thing you know he's in scoring position. Like, instantly."
But Mattingly and first-base coach Davey Lopes also had to scold Gordon in the first inning for taking too much of a lead off second base, drawing pickoff throws and distracting the hitter.
"We love him today," said Mattingly. "There will be times we think he's still young. There will be growing pains and we've just got to live with them."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.