Clayton Kershaw ... second consecutive win
The Dodgers not only watched the Chicago White Sox spray home runs in all directions while taking two of three games, but the must have also made notes because upon returning home to face Seattle they added four of their own, three by Andre Ethier, in an 8-2 win that helped Clayton Kershaw even his record a 5-5.
Just as Chicago recorded 15 of their 18 runs on home runs, the Dodgers scored seven of their eight with Casey Blake joining Ethier in working on a comfortable home run trot.
Ethier put Los Angeles up 3-0 in the second inning, boosted that to 7-2 in the sixth and 8-2 in the eighth inning.
“It was a lot of fun. It’s something I never dreamed of before,” Ethier said. “It’s one of those unlikely things that’s a nice individual accomplishment, and if it helps the team and makes the outcome better for us, so be it. But I don’t expect home runs now just because of this.”
Ethier has hit 13 of his 14 homers this season at Dodger Stadium and it was Ethier’s fifth career multihomer game.
Ethier became the 15th player to hit three or more home runs for the Dodgers and the first since Hee Seop Choi in 2005 (see complete story on today's site).
Seattle Manager Don Wakamatsu had Ethier in one of his winter baseball camps at age 12 and could see the youngster's talents then. “I saw him as a young player and at Arizona State,” Wakamatsu said. “Tonight he hit three different pitches off three different pitchers, and that was awfully impressive.”
Ethier gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead in the second, driving a 1-1 pitch from Jason Vargas (3-3) to right-center field after Casey Blake led off with a double and James Loney singled. He made it 7-2 in the sixth with a drive into the right-field pavilion off off Roy Corcoran after Russ Martin was hit by a pitch and added his third in the eighth off Miguel Batista.
The 50,000+ in attendance called on the outfielder for a curtain call and he obliged but was his usual self after the game, saying "I don't know if dreams come true, but it's definitely something that I never dreamed of before," Ethier said.
Ethier has experienced a roller-coaster season and came into the game hitting .150 (3-for-20) on the six-game road trip, .174 (8-for-46) in his previous 13 games.
Kershaw allowed Seattle only two runs on five hits over six innings while throwing 96 pitches and striking out eight. The 21-year-old left-hander hasn’t given up more than five hits in any of his last 11 starts, but is only 5-3 during that stretch despite a 2.48 ERA in those eight outings.
The performance came after a strong outing last Sunday against the Angels.
"He grew a little bit his last outing on Sunday and tonight was just an add-on," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "Any time you can put two or three starts back-to-back like that, that means you're making some progress."
"I think that's the key for me is trying to incorporate all of my pitches. Sometimes, when I get into trouble, I just want to go hard, hard, hard and get people out," Kershaw said. "And sometimes the best way to do that is by backing off.
"I only walked one and that's probably a little bit of a testament to their aggressive type of team. ... but it was a big improvement for my part tonight."
Ethier didn't provide all of the offense during the evening, although it appeared so to many in attendance. Blake added a home run (#11) and Matt Kemp singled twice and tripled. Juan Pierre added a pair of singles.
The Dodgers and Mariners on Saturday meet in the second of three games at Dodger Stadium today. Looking for their second straight win is left-hander Eric Milton (2-0, 2.89) in his first start since May 31 at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. The southpaw has been on the disabled list since June 7 with a strained back. A struggling Cory Wade was optioned to Albuquerque to make room for Milton on the roster.
The Dodgers will face RHP Felix Hernandez (7-3, 2.74 ERA) who saw his scoreless inning streak broken after 20 innings before a home run by the Diamondbacks. He has only allowed five earned runs in his past 45 innings and is 0-1 against the Dodgers.
Score by Innings
Seattle 000 101 000-2
Los Angeles 030 112 01x-8
Los Angeles ab r h bi ave
Pierre lf 4 0 2 0 .329
Furcal ss 3 0 0 0 .238
Hudson 2b 4 0 0 0 .307
Blake 3b 4 2 2 1 .301
Loney 1b 4 1 1 0 .281
Martin c 3 1 1 0 .249
Ethier rf 4 3 3 6 .268
Kemp cf 4 1 3 0 .313
Kershaw p 2 0 1 0 .182
MJones 1 0 1 0 .182
Mota p 0 0 0 0 .000
Ellis ph 1 0 0 0 .000
Belisario p 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 34 8 14 8
Seattle 32 2 6 2
2B- Blake (18). 3B- Kemp (5). HR- Ethier
3 (14), Blake (11). RBI- Ethier 6 (49),
Blake (48), Kershaw (1). S- Furcal. LOB- Los
Angeles 6, Seattle 4. CS- Pierre (6).
DP- Blake, Hudson and Loney.
Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era
Kershaw (5-5) 6.0 5 2-2 1 8 3.70
Mota 2.0 0 0-0 0 1 4.50
Belisario 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 2.03
HBP- Martin. T- 2:39. Att- 50,752.
On the Road Again
The traveling Manny Ramirez road show, after two games in Albuquerque, will open tonight with Inland Empire at Lake Elsinore and will probably play three games with the 66ers when they return home Monday.
Dodger Blue Notes
-- Andre Ethier now has five multi-homer games this year, best in the Majors, and 11 of his 14 home runs have come in those five games. ...The Dodgers are 9-7 in Interleague Play after Friday's win. ...The one walk issued by Clayton Kershaw tied for his lowest number of free passes in a start this season. ...The Dodgers optioned reliever Corey Wade to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday to make room for Eric Milton.