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Ethier, Padilla, Kemp Provide Just Enough Cushion

Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp provided the offense, and Vicente Padilla provided the much-needed lengthy outing from a Dodger starter, as the Dodgers withstood a late rally to defeat the Giants 10-8 in the series opener at Chavez Ravine.

Kemp put the first runs on the board in the first inning with a two-run home run to right field.  Kemp is the first Los Angeles Dodger to hit a home run in each of the first four home games of the season, and has homered in five of his last six games. The only LA Dodger with a longer home run streak at any point in the season was Shawn Green, who homered in five straight games in July 2001.

Ethier followed Kemp's home run in the first with one of his own, then for good measure added a grand slam in the second inning, the first grand slam of his career.  Tonight was the ninth multi-home run game of Ethier's career, and since the start of the 2009 season only Albert Pujols has more multi-homer games, with 12.  In Ethier's last 81 home games, the equivalent of half a season, he has ridiculous numbers:

Last 81 home games    PA R 2B HR RBI BA/SLG/OBP OPS
Andre Ethier 358 57 25 25 77 .316/.388/.646 1.034

The Dodgers needed Vicente Padilla to eat innings tonight, and he delivered.  Padilla pitched seven strong innings, giving up three runs on four hits, walking two and striking out seven, and even took a no-hitter into the fifth inning.  Staked to a 7-0 lead after two innings, Padilla just had to throw strikes, and that's what he did, throwing 67 of his 103 pitches in the strike zone.

Russ Ortiz Done

The Dodgers took a 10-3 lead into the eighth inning, thinking the lead safe enough to pitch Russ Ortiz.  Ortiz pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, but struggled mightily in the ninth, allowing two runs and two more to reach base before getting pulled with two outs.  Because Ortiz couldn't finish off a game with a huge lead, for the second Friday in a row, Ramon Troncoso was asked to get the final out, pitching his seventh game out of 10.  Troncoso allowed a three-run home run to the first batter he faced, Eugenio Velez, but got Edgar Renteria to bounce back to the box for the final out of the game.

Worst Career OBP Allowed, LA Dodgers (min 5 IP)
Pitcher Year(s) BF OBP
Juan Marichal 1975 34 .500
Brian Barnes 1994 29 .483
Jerry Stevenson 1970 34 .471
Rick Gorecki 1997 32 .469
Jose Nuñez 2001 42 .463
Jon Meloan 2007 38 .459
Sid Fernandez 1983 33 .455
Russ Ortiz 2010 31 .452
Scott Stewart 2004 60 .441
Robinson Checo 1999 85 .435

In his last three outings, Russ Ortiz has allowed eight runs in three innings.  At this point, there is no lead safe enough for him to pitch.  If tonight wasn't his final appearance as a Dodger, it's an organizational failure.

Other Notes

  • Manny Ramirez left tonight's game after three innings with tightness in his right calf
  • James Loney had three hits, his fifth straight multi-hit game.  During that streak, Loney is hitting .480 (12 for 25)
  • Ken Gurnick of reported "most of the regulars" will get a day off over the next two days
  • Hong-Chih Kuo will make his second rehab appearance on Sunday with Inland Empire
  • Ronald Belisario threw 25 pitches and in two innings today in an extended spring training game in Arizona
  • Charlie Haeger faces two-time defending Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum tomorrow at 1:10

WP - Vicente Padilla (1-1):  7 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

LP - Todd Wellemeyer (0-2):  4 IP, 6 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts

Box Score