Andre Ethier should wear a cape over his number 16 jersey. He played the role of hero yet again tonight, hitting a three-run home run in the ninth inning to give the Dodgers a 5-4 win in the opener of the four-game series with Atlanta.
Eight innings of frustration for the Dodgers, of leaving men on base, of asking Russell Martin to bunt with runners on first and second base with nobody out, of not being able to get Chipper Jones out, all melted away when Ethier drove a 96-mph fastball from Rafael Soriano over the wall in right, turning a 4-2 deficit into yet another walk-off win for the amazing 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers now have 11 walk-off wins this season, tops in the major leagues, and Ethier has five of them:
|April 15||Giants||Loney||Bases loaded walk|
|May 1||Padres||Martin||Bases loaded walk|
|May 2||Padres||Ethier||RBI single|
||Reached on E3|
|May 23||Angels||Pierre||Bases loaded walk|
|June 5||Phillies||Ethier||2-run double|
|June 6||Phillies||Ethier||Home run|
|June 16||A's||Kemp||RBI single|
|June 29||Rockies||Ethier||Home run|
|July 25||Marlins||Blake||RBI single|
||Braves||Ethier||3-run home run|
Tonight was the best no-decision of the year for Randy Wolf, who now has 13 of them.
There were a couple of other milestones tonight as well:
- Orlando Hudson got his 1,000th career hit with a single in the fourth inning off Derek Lowe
- Randy Wolf stole his first career base, when he swiped second off Lowe in the fourth as well
- Hong-Chih Kuo actually allowed a baserunner, his first unintentional one in 5.2 scoreless innings since returning from the disabled list. Kuo struck out two tonight, and has recorded eight of his last 17 outs via punchout
After Ethier hit the home run, Vin Scully didn't speak for 45 seconds, letting the game speak for itself. Sometimes, less is more.
Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reported a flurry of upcoming potential roster moves for the Dodgers: Tony Abreu called up Friday, Ronald Belisario soon after, and Eric Stults perhaps by Monday to start in place of Jason Schmidt.
WP - Scott Elbert (2-0): 0.1 IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Rafael Soriano (1-3): 0 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs