Andre Ethier breaks up routine with game-winning HR in 10th as Dodgers edge Marlins, 5-4; Padilla gets save
Seems hitting streaks can become so boring. Hit after hit. Just so routine.
Andre Ethier figured out a way to spice up his career-high, 24-game hitting streak Wednesday, driving a solo home run off Brian Sanches -- who had had not allowed a run in his first eight appearances -- in the 10th inning to leave the Dodgers with a 5-4 comeback victory.
The game was saved in the 10th not by Jonathan Broxton, who hadn't pitched Tuesday, but by Vicente Padilla. The right-hander retired the side in order to record his first save since 2000 for the Phillies.
Ethier had already extended his hitting streak earlier in the day, the longest streak for April in baseball history, so it wasn’t on the line when he led off the 10th.
But in 2009, Ethier specialized in these dramatic, game-winning hits. He went back to the drama in the 10th with his third home run of the season.
"I was trying to get us out of here," Ethier said in his postgame TV interview. "It’s been a tough road trip."
The victory avoided a sweep by the Marlins and ended a streak of 20 games in as many days. The Dodgers went 3-3 on the trip and are off today before starting a six-game homestand Friday against the Padres.
Chad Billingsley started and pitched well for the Dodgers except for a costly second inning. Billingsley gave up four consecutive singles and then a bases-loaded double to Chris Coghlan.
The Dodgers were quickly down 4-0, although Billingsley was in command the rest of the day. He did not allow a hit in any of his other five innings. In his six-inning stint, he allowed the four runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out three.
The Dodgers were 1-2 after falling behind by four runs this season.
L.A., however, got back in the game in the fourth after Ethier’s one-out single extended his hitting streak. Florida right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who took a no-hitter into the ninth inning of his last start, struck out Matt Kemp before James Loney singled Ethier to third.
Rod Barajas then crushed a Sanchez offering for a three-run home run. It was Barajas’ fifth home run on the season, equaling Kemp for the team lead.
The Dodgers tied the game in the seventh off reliever Ryan Webb after Aaron Miles led off with single. Ivan De Jesus Jr. got down an ugly sacrifice bunt and pinch-hitter Juan Uribe doubled Miles home. Uribe has missed the last five starts with a sore thigh.
The Dodgers blew a great opportunity to win the game in regulation in the eighth. They got a pair of leadoff walks against reliever Chad Hensley but Barajas was unable to get the bunt down and fouled out.
When Hensley walked Miles to load the bases, the Marlins called on reliever Edward Mujica. With three-fourths of his starting infield injured, Manager Don Mattingly had to let De Jesus bat. He hit Mujica’s first pitch into an inning-ending double play.
Matt Guerrier pitched out of trouble in the bottom of the ninth to set the stage for Ethier’s heroics.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Andre Ethier hits a single during the fourth inning against Florida on Wednesday. Credit: Steve Mitchell / US Presswire