There were many heroes tonight, including Clayton Kershaw with his third straight strong start, and Casey Blake with his homer and near-homer off the top of the wall. However, the star of the Dodgers' 8-2 win over the Mariners was Andre Ethier, who slammed three home runs and drove in six.
Ethier is the 10th LA Dodger to hit at least three homers in a game (it happened seven more times when the club was in Brooklyn), and the first since Hee Seop Choi in 2005. Ethier has hit 13 of his team-leading 14 home runs at Dodger Stadium this season, and his five multi-HR games is tied with Albert Pujols for the MLB lead.
Matt Kemp added three hits of his own, including a daring triple in the fifth inning. Clayton Kershaw followed with a single, for the first RBI of his MLB career.
Kershaw was very good on the mound as well, pitching six strong innings, allowing two Jose Lopez RBI singles while striking out eight. He walked only one batter.
What will happen with the outfield rotation once Manny comes back? According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Kemp and Ethier will remain as starters:
Torre said that Juan Pierre, who has filled in admirably in Ramirez's absence, would play a day or two a week in center field upon Ramirez's return July 3 from a 50-game drug suspension.
Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier will alternate as the right fielder on the days Pierre starts, giving the other player the day off.
Eric Milton, who will be activated from the disabled list tomorrow, gets the start against Felix Hernandez of the Mariners.
WP - Clayton Kershaw (5-5): 6 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
LP - Jason Vargas (3-3): 4.2 IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts