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Andre Ethier breaks up routine with game-winning HR in 10th as Dodgers edge Marlins, 5-4; Padilla gets save

Photo: Andre Ethier hits a single during the fourth inning against Florida on Wednesday. Credit: Steve Mitchell / US Presswire 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

 
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Nice game! It's always a nice game without Fatso Broxton. The Dodgers would have lost had he gone in, so good call, Donnie. You're growing up before our eyes.

Mattingly says Brox is closer. Ned says Broxton is not. Power struggle between manager and GM? Looks like GM won today.
.
Of course its more of a case of the blind leading the stupid.
.
I'll let you decide which is which.

And for just the third time all month of April, the rescue mission will know carne! (and it only took him 100 at bats.)


That the Marlins gave this game away, well... we shall not talk about such things now; whence you err a dudger, it is always better to be lucky than good.


Speaking of luck, if slappy 'e' (who has led the charge to 13-13) can merely double his home run total, he'll be just as good as [ drumroll ] Rod Barajas [ rimshot/cymbal crash! ] who leads the dudgers with 5.

Amazing. Snuck off from work to see the later innings not knowing that Barajas had hit a three-run jack earlier. Then, with a struggling Clay Hensley on the mound, the game tied, two on and no outs (Hensley had walked both Kemp and Loney), Mattingly has Barajas attempt to lay down a bunt only to fail in two attempts then foul out. Hensley proceeded to walk Aaron Miles next to load the bases then was pulled.

When are these managers (Torre included) going to realize that small ball isn't always smart ball?

"The Dodgers blew a great opportunity to win the game in regulation in the eighth. They got a pair of leadoff walks "
This must be a different game than the baseball I know.
Two lead off hitters per inning. Pretty cool.

one, two, three outs, and a save.

I remember that from past glory days. Get rid of Broxton, now!

The co-closer pair of Kuo and Padilla is definitely the way to go. You never have to worry about Padilla overthinking a save situation, he is close to fearless and his pitching style will differ greatly from the pitchers who proceed him making it harder for the hitters to adapt.

The other key is that Loney is looking more and more like his old self from 2009 and 2010, a hitter who should hit .285-10-85-10. He may not be the long term first-base answer unless he is willing to take a pay cut, but he is the best 1B option the Dodgers are going to have until the ownership situation is resolved.

Oops, the last post should read "precede" not proceed.

I agree, had dumbass broxton came up it would've been a for sure loss! Way to go Padilla! Broxton and McCourt need to get the hell out of LA.

Couple of thoughts:
1. The Dodgers need to re-sign Ethier and Kemp now. Both players have made some big-time hitting fixes. Ethier now hits to all fields instead of being a strict pull-hitter and Kemp has finally learned how to take a pitch.
2. If Loney doesn't show up by the end of May, it's time to trade him for some pitching. Blake and Thames can both play 1B.
3. Kenley Jensen isn't ready for the prime time. Haven't we learned with Broxton that one pitch isn't enough? I'll say it again - if Kenley can develop a major league breaking ball to go with his 97 mph fastball, he would be a very good starter.
4. What the hell is wrong with Jay Gibbons? Are his eyes so bad that contacts can't fix the issue? For the amount of time he's spent on the DL, he could have had lasiks and been back on the field. Greg Maddux had lasiks surgery mid-season, between starts!
5. Are we missing Russell Martin yet? I am.

I am not used to hearing of a 1-2-3 inning to close out a game from the Dodgers.
Comparing Broxton and Padilla, even Broxton's out are loud outs. Padilla's are easy pop ups.
I heard the White Sox is in desperate need of a closer. They love those big closers.
Is Loney a trade bait now that Sands is in the lineup regularly. Maybe move Sands to his natural position, 1b?

Broxton and Mattingly finally spoke about the closer's elbow, which indicates something that everyone knew: Broxton isn't healthy. His 91 mph 'heater' isn't going to cut it, especially since he doesn't really throw his other pitches for strikes. Padilla and/or Kuo should be able to get the job done, and they can try to get Brox healthy.

Are you guys forgetting that Padilla gave up a walk, two hits, and an earned run on Monday?

I believe Gibbons has already had some type of corrective eye surgery and like a lot of people has had some post-op problems and not seeing well. One thing I will not do is have someone do any type of eye surgery on me as I rather wear glasses.

jimishelter,

quit the lsd mr. hendrix. Padilla did allow a run how many times? You are talking about one game.ONE!
The best closers of all time blows saves once in awhile. You can't judge a performance from one game.

We need Takhashi Saito in a bad way, NOW, more than ever!

I hear Russell martin has people in N.Y. scratching their heads as to why the DODGERS LET HIM GO! unfortunately, they didn't witness him languishing under Joe Torre!

I think someone hit the nail on the head. Padilla is fearless, like all closers have to be. Because Broxton has lost all confidence, he has pitched out of fear, trying to paint corners when he has no ability to do so. When he gets behind, he has to throw a hittable fastball and boy, is he getting hit. Brox needs to be yanked until he gets his head and body back to where it was in early 2010.

just good to win a game...enjoy the day off....beat the padres

Broxton didn't give up any earned runs on Monday. If Carroll doesn't make an error, Broxton gets the save. He didn't so Broxton got his first blown save of the year.

Good job to the somewhat beat-up Dodgers for pulling this one out. Come home and rest up, boys. Otherwise you may need to pencil in the bag of balls as a bench player.


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