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Will Andre Ethier really be swinging for the fences from now on?

July 26, 2011 | 10:11 am

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier (16) reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Monday. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier hit his 10th home run of the season Monday night against Colorado.

Whoa. Wait.

Ten? Andre Ethier, the two-time All-Star with that sugary-sweet swing, has just 10 home runs?

So say the box scores. 

His two-run shot in the third inning of the Dodgers' 8-5 win was his first home run of the second half and first since his two-homer game on July 10 against San Diego.  

He's on pace to hit 16 this season, which would be his lowest total since hitting 13 in 2007. For the record, he hit 23 last season, 31 in 2009, and 20  in 2008.  

His lack of power has been noted in the press, and it's no doubt worrisome to fans, who haven't had much to cheer about this season. 

After the game, Ethier seemed light-hearted when discussing his home run totals with reporters. 

"I’ve decided just to start swinging for the fence every time now," he said with a smile. "Might as well. You try to just hit base hits and make solid contact, that doesn’t work for a while.

"So I said, 'I'm going to go up there and if I'm going to take a hack, I’m going to take a nice uppercut and try to be below.'"

Should he have been doing that all season?

"Sometimes you don't wake up until midway through," he said.

Was he being serious? 

"Oh yeah," Ethier said. "I'm just trying to uppercut things. Why not?"

Well, that's not exactly what Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said he wants Ethier to do. 

"Power comes through your swing," Mattingly said. "With him, he's got a good one, and to just continue to have good at-bats, he's going to elevate some balls and hit some homers."

What say Ethier about that? 

"I guess you could say that, but at the end of the year when they say, 'Why didn't you hit more?' what are you going to say?

"You better go out there and perform. That's one thing I learned in my short time in the major leagues, is you better perform and keep doing it," he said. 

-- Baxter Holmes
twitter.com/baxterholmes 

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier (16) reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on Monday. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

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