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Ethier pushes hitting streak to 21 as Kuroda leads Dodgers past Cubs, 7-3

April 24, 2011 |  2:41 pm

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda delivers a pitch in the first inning Sunday at Wrigley Field. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire Andre Ethier has picked off Steve Garvey. Now in his sights: Joe Torre.

Ethier continued his hot hitting Sunday, albeit initially with an infield single off the glove of first baseman Carlos Pena in the first inning, but it drove in the first of five runs to open the game as the Dodgers dropped the Cubs, 7-3, behind a strong outing by Hiroki Kuroda.

The infield hit extended Ethier’s career-high hitting streak to 21 games, surpassing Garvey’s previous club record for April of 20. Next up is Torre’s major-league record of 22 for April set in 1972.

First a would-be Dodgers owner, then a former Dodgers manager. Ethier doesn’t fear going after the big fish. Ethier later added a second hit in the ninth.

The last Dodger with a 21-game hitting streak was Nomar Garciaparra in 2006.

The first five Dodgers reached base safely in the first inning against Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano as the Dodgers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never trailed.

Kuroda gave up two runs in the bottom of the inning, then dominated the Cubs over the next five innings.

He was lifted after allowing a run with two outs in the seventh. On another cold Wrigley Field afternoon, Kuroda recorded seven strikeouts in three innings. He did not strike out another batter and never allowed a walk. He gave up nine hits.

Kuroda has now had strong outings in all but one of his five starts this season, raising his record to 3-2 and lowering his earned-run average to 3.21.

The victory pushed the Dodgers back over the .500 mark at 12-11 and left them 4-1 since the organization was taken over by Major League Baseball.

RELATED:

Dodgers-Cubs box score

Dodgers-Cubs: How the runs were scored

Dodgers and L.A.: Romance has soured but relationship is far from over

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda delivers a pitch in the first inning Sunday at Wrigley Field. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire

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