After a slow start, the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be back on track.
The Dodgers weekend sweep over the San Diego Padres gave them a seven-game winning streak going into this week’s games.
“This was a big series,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “It’s a big win because we put a streak together ourselves where we’ve played good baseball and had good pitching. That’s where we were fumbling around early on trying to get that good feel. Over the last 10 days we’ve played a lot better.”
The pitching has been a key point in the Dodgers’ turnaround, recording a 1.71 ERA during the seven-game stretch. Chad Billingsley combined with two relievers in allowing four hits in a 1-0 at San Diego on Sunday.
In Saturday’s 4-1 win, Clayton Kershaw held the Padres to three hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. It was his second straight effective start after giving up just two hits in eight innings of a 2-0 win against Colorado on May 9.
It was a perfect road trip for Los Angeles, which went 3-0 at Arizona before playing the Padres. The Dodgers went 12-3 through Sunday’s game after an 8-14 record left them six games behind in the NL West on April 29.
But success doesn’t come easy, as the Dodgers found out on Saturday. Andre Ethier broke his right little finger during batting practice on Saturday. Starting this week, the right-fielder led the NL in batting with a .392 average; was tied for the home run lead with 11 and topped the league with 38 RBIs.
“It stinks, honestly,” said Kershaw after Saturday’s game. “He’s the best player in the game right now. The best hitter in the game, for sure. He’s going to be sorely missed in our lineup.”
The Dodgers were waiting until early this week to decide whether or not to place Ethier on the 15-day disabled list.
“It could be a couple of days, it could be longer than that,” Ethier said. “I’m a little disappointed in the fact it’s something this small.”
The Dodgers began a seven-game homestand this week against Houston, San Diego and Detroit.
Copyright © 2010 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.