Dodgers Slow But Sure

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Because the major-league baseball season is 162 games, there is always time. The Dodgers are in the middle of that, as they played .500 over their last six games. There are 131 games left on the schedule.

Andre Ethier, the Dodgers’ right fielder, is off to a tremendous start. After Saturday’s 8-0 loss, he’s the National League leader in runs batted in (32), home runs (10), batting average (.394), and is on pace to be the first Triple Crown winner in 43 years.

The Dodgers (14-17) won two of three from the Colorado Rockies this past weekend, after a 2-0 triumph Sunday at Chavez Ravine behind pitcher Clayton Kershaw (2-2), who allowed two hits with nine strikeouts in eight innings.

On Saturday, the Dodgers were blanked, 8-0, behind Carlos Gonzalez’s three-run triple. On Friday, the Dodgers won, 6-5, with closer Jonathan Broxton getting the save and Jeff Weaver the victory.

The Dodgers scored solo runs in the second and third innings, and then added three runs in the fifth inning, and one in the sixth.

Ethier had two hits, drove in two runs, while Casey Blake and Jamey Carroll, each had two hits and an RBI.

On Thursday, it was Ethier’s grand slam in the ninth inning that catapulted the Dodgers to a 7-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Once again, Ethier had two hits, as did Xavier Paul and Carroll.

The Dodgers scored once in the bottom of the first, and two in the second to take a 3-0 lead, before the Brewers chipped away late, scoring one run in the seventh and two in the ninth.

Rookie right-hander John Ely came really close to getting the win after coming within one out of working seven innings. In that span, he struck out seven and allowed four hits, without issuing a walk.

Broxton was the winner in relief after blowing the save. Broxton fanned two and didn’t walk a batter, but was tagged for two runs (both earned), and surrendered four hits.

The Brewers out-hit the Dodgers, 13-12, the previous evening, and tallied four runs in the first inning off Chad Billingsley, who lasted six innings.

Second baseman Rickie Weeks, who had three hits in five at-bats, drove in three runs for the Brewers, while first baseman Prince Fielder (two-for-three) knocked in two runs, as did Casey McGehee.

Milwaukee tacked on seven runs in the final two innings, with five coming in the eighth inning.

Gregg Zaun is the catcher for the Brewers, and attended St. Francis High in La Canada. He was the backup receiver for the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins, and had a night to remember during Tuesday’s 11-6 win.

Zaun lined his first homer of the season, a two-run shot to right field during a nine-run second inning off Kershaw, singled, doubled and was hit by a pitch.

Fielder also added a two-run homer, and Southern California native Ryan Braun had a three-run double.

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