In his past two starts, Derek Lowe has pitched 14 shutout innings, all against the Snakes, and allowed a TOTAL of six hits. Over his past five starts, he is 3-1 with a 1.02 ERA (four runs, 35 1/3 innings). This guy has survived the late stages of a playoff race before and emerged from it doused with champagne. That experience makes him an absolutely critical piece for the Dodgers, who improved to 71-70 and moved within a half-game of the Snakes and now appear to have momentum squarely on their side in this division race. And if Lowe is down to his final few weeks with the Dodgers, he is at least making them count. On the flip side, in Dan Haren’s past two starts, both against the Dodgers, he has allowed 10 earned runs on 16 hits over 11 innings. Tonight, he was gone after four. … Andre Ethier went 5 for 5 tonight, falling a triple short of the cycle — and no, that probably wouldn’t have been a triple if he had kept running in the sixth inning instead of pulling up and not getting back to the bag in time. Even if he makes it to third, it’s a double and an error. Ethier did drive in five runs, and he now is batting .733 (11 for 15) for the homestand. He also has a five-game hitting streak, during which he is batting a less-impressive .650 (13 for 20).