The Dodgers express rolled on Monday night, welcoming themselves to Toronto with a 14-5 mauling of the Blue Jays for their fourth straight victory. The season high for runs by the Dodgers brought their run differential into the black at 389 runs scored and 388 runs allowed.
It's the first time the Dodgers have had a positive run differential since April 14.
The Dodgers improved to 51-47, a season best four games over .500 and temporarily tied for first place with the Diamondbacks in the National League West. Arizona is currently hosting the Matt Garza-less Cubs in Phoenix.
The Dodgers scored 14 runs in a game for the first time since scoring 15 at home against the Pirates on Sept. 18, 2011.
For the second day in a row the Dodgers batted around in the second inning. After Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson retired the first four batters of the game, he allowed four runs in the frame, including a double by Andre Ethier and a home run by A.J. Ellis.
Ethier doubled twice against Johnson, and in his career is 10-for-17 (.588) with four doubles against the right-hander. That gave Ethier 20 doubles on the season, the eight consecutive season he has reached that plateau, making him just the seventh Dodger ever to do so. Ethier is the only Dodger in franchise history with 30 or more doubles in six consecutive seasons.
Ellis also singled home a run in the third inning, which ended up the final frame for Johnson. The Blue Jays right-hander faced three batters in the third inning and didn't retire any of them before he was removed. That made two straight games the Dodgers knocked out the starting pitcher after recording six or fewer outs, the first time they have done that since beating Omar Olivares and Juan Acevedo on May 5 and May 6, 1995.
The last time the Dodgers knocked out back-to-back starters that early outside of Coors Field came when they battered Randy Jones and Dave Roberts of the Mets on May 15 and May 16, 1981.
Ellis continued his barrage with RBI singles in sixth and seventh innings, and set new career highs with four hits, three runs scored and five runs batted in. Ellis has driven in 18 runs in his last 17 games, hitting .310/.351/.479 during that span.
Skip Schumaker, one of six Dodgers with at least two hits, got into the act with a towering three-run home run down the right field line in the seventh inning. It was his first home run as a Dodger and his first home run since Sept. 3, 2012, after a span of 273 plate appearances without.
Mark Ellis was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to continue his stellar road trip, during which he is hitting .533 (8-for-15).
Carl Crawford went 3-for-5 and is 7-for-12 since his post-DL slump.
Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-5, which seems like the norm these days.
The offense made a winner out of Hyun-jin Ryu, who allowed nine hits but managed to mitigate the damage to an extent. He allowed two runs in the first five innings, then two more after he left with one out in the sixth.
The offense was so good, it overshadowed a pair of great catches at the wall, one by Crawford in left field and another by Yasiel Puig in right center field.
Chris Capuano, who seems like someone who should be an ex-Blue Jay, gets the call for the Dodgers in the middle game of the series on Tuesday night as the Dodgers look to win their fifth straight game. Todd Redmond, the 28-year-old with 20 major league innings under his belt, gets the start for Toronto.
Home runs: A.J. Ellis (5), Skip Schumaker (1)
WP - Hyun-jin Ryu (8-3): 5⅓ IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Josh Johnson (1-6): 2+ IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts