Don't look now, but Dodgers have won three straight; Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley lead 6-1 win over Tigers
Meanwhile, back at the yard, a strange occurrence.
The Dodgers won again, won with the kind of pitching they were built around, won without Matt Kemp having to do a single heroic thing, won for the third time in as many games.
The Dodgers fairly knocked the Detroit Tigers around, winning 6-1 Tuesday as Andre Ethier crushed a two-run homer and right-hander Chad Billingsley started to get back on track.
The little three-game winning streak matched their season high, something they’ve accomplished three other times this season. If they scratch out a fourth consecutive victory Wednesday afternoon, it will also mark their first series sweep.
Tuesday's progress was again built around pitching and followed on a pair of shutouts. The Dodgers have now allowed one run in their last 28 innings.
Billingsley was hardly in top form, but after allowing 13 runs and 22 hits in the 8 2/3 innings of his last two starts, it was certainly a positive step.
He did labor in throwing 110 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, but surrendered only the one run. He allowed six hits, two walks and struck out six.
Manager Don Mattingly took Billingsley out after he loaded the bases with one out in the sixth and the Dodgers up, 4-1. Reliever Mike MacDougal quickly induced Ray Raburn to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
MacDougal, Matt Guerrier, Hong-Chih Kuo -- in his first appearance since coming off the disabled list with anxiety disorder -- and Blake Hawksworth shut the Tigers down the rest of the way.
The Dodgers took an early 1-0 lead against Max Scherzer in the second on an RBI single by A.J. Ellis.
The Tigers tied it in the fourth on a Victor Martinez single, but the Dodgers went back in front in the bottom of the inning when Tony Gwynn Jr. beat out an infield hit.
Ethier gave Billingsley a little cushion when he jumped all over a 3-0 Scherzer pitch in the fifth, sending it half way up the right-field pavilion. It may have been the hardest hit ball of the season for Ethier.
The Dodgers added two more in the sixth on doubles by Trent Oeltjen and Dee Gordon. For one night, they were making it look easy.
Photo: Matt Kemp of the Dodgers is safe under the glove of Detroit's Danny Worth on a stolen base in the seventh inning Tuesday night. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times