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Raising Andre Ethier in Arizona: Could coming home get the right fielder back on track?

July 3, 2010 |  8:18 am
Could home cure what’s been ailing Andre Ethier?

There is no team Ethier enjoys hitting against more than his hometown Diamondbacks.

Somehow, he just lights up when playing Arizona.

And right now, he seriously could use some lighting up.

After his incredible start, when for the first six weeks of the season he was simply the best hitter in baseball, he has returned from fracturing his pinky a much different player.

Since returning from the disabled list May 31, he hit just .220 with one home run in 27 games.

But Friday when the Dodgers opened their three-game series in Phoenix, he went three for five with two singles and a double. It was only the second time he’s had three hits in a game since coming off the DL.

He looked a lot more like the Ethier of April than June. He has 93 career hits against the Diamondbacks, 30 more than he has against any other single team.

Despite what the numbers suggest, Ethier claims the finger is no longer bothering him. In struggling to regain his stroke, his confidence seems to have taken a beating.

Only he looked plenty confident Friday. Looked like someone who expected to get a hit.

And since he’s nine for 20 in Phoenix this season, with two homers and nine RBI in four games, he has reason to expect good things to happen at Chase Field.

Now, the Dodgers have to hope, it triggers the Ethier they badly need.

-- Steve Dilbeck