Kershaw Eases Dodgers Pain: Dodgers 4, Padres 1

Clayton Kershaw was brilliant for the second straight start, and the Dodgers won their sixth straight game, 4-1 over the Padres.  Kershaw had trouble in the first inning again, allowing a single and a walk to the first two batters.  He got out of the inning allowing just one run, but he has allowed eight walks in eight first innings this season.  However, after that Kershaw didn't allow a thing.

Kershaw pitched seven innings in total, allowing a mere five baserunners, including a season-best two walks.  He struck out seven batters, and induced 14 swinging strikes, the same number he got last Sunday against the Rockies.  Per MLB At-Bat Gameday, 10 of the swinging strikes tonight were on fastballs, and the other four were on sliders.

James Loney started the Dodger offense in the second with a booming home run to right center field over the 400 foot sign hit by Andre Ethier last night.  Speaking of Ethier, he was a late scratch after jamming his right pinky while taking extra batting practice.  Vin Scully said during the broadcast that Ethier wasn't hit by a pitch, but rather simply hurt his pinky during batting practice, and that Ethier dropped the bat in pain.  The details are all vague at this point, but it's worth noting that Xavier Paul was removed in the third inning of tonight's Isotopes' game in Salt Lake City.  If Ethier has to go on the disabled list, Paul is the likely choice to take his spot on the active roster.

UPDATE: On the Dodger postgame show on KABC, it was reported Ethier has a small fracture in his pinky, and is headed back to Los Angeles for further revaluation.  The Xavier Paul move, for now, was just precautionary, and no move has yet been made.  In fact, Joe Torre told reporters after the game that Paul was removed from the game because he was hit by a throw (per Dylan Hernandez via Twitter).

Tony Jackson of ESPN LA has some more details about Ethier's injury, and it doesn't sound promising:

There was no initial indication, from Dodgers trainer Stan Conte or anyone else, as to whether Ethier is likely to be placed on the disabled list. But each player holds the bat slightly differently, and Ethier seemed to indicate that this injury would prevent him from holding it the way he normally does.

"It's a flexion thing,'' he said. "I kind of position that pinky right above the knob, and it's a leverage point in my swing.''

UPDATE (9:37pm):  Apparently, Xavier Paul's removal from the game was unrelated to Ethier's injury, as he was hit in the head with a thrown ball pre-game and complained of headaches during the game so he was removed and taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons, where he checked out okay.

Notes

  • Russell Martin extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single in the fifth inning.  The single came on a curve from Kevin Correia, prompting Vin Scully to drop this line:  "A breaking ball up, like a letter from home..."
  • Garret Anderson, starting in right field in place of Ethier, hit a triple to right in the sixth, Anderson's first triple since August 27, 2008
  • Ramon Troncoso and Jonathan Broxton retired the final six batters in order to close out the game.  In fact, the final 11 batters on both sides were retired in order.

WP - Clayton Kershaw (3-2):  7 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

LP - Kevin Correia (4-3): 5 1/3 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts 

Sv - Jonathan Broxton (6):  1 IP

Box Score

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