Ethier went 2-for-3 with an RBI walk, but his biggest hit came in the eighth inning, when he thumped a solo home run in a tied game to push the Dodgers to an eventual 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Monday at Dodger Stadium. The six runs scored were the team's most since May 15. Ethier is now hitting .313 this season and is proving to again be among the game's elite offensive outfielders.
How it happened: The Dodgers had plenty of chances to break the game open early and late, but they again failed to come up with a timely hit with men on base through the first seven innings. Instead, they settled for a bases-loaded walk in the first and a bases-loaded ground out in the seventh to get their first two runs.
Brett Anderson kept them in the game before that eighth inning outburst by pitching seven innings and allowing two runs.
The Dodgers then unloaded three home runs in the eighth. Ethier drilled his sixth home run of the season when he put a Nick Masset fastball into the pavilion seats in right-center field to break a 2-2 tie. Alex Guerrero hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer later in the inning, which gives him eight for the season, and Jimmy Rollins also homered, his fifth. The four runs in the inning were more than the Dodgers had scored in any of their previous eight games.
Sputtering with RISP: The Dodgers got another strong pitching performance from a starter, and they again struggled to score for him. The offense loaded the bases three times in the first three innings against Williams Perez, but they managed only one run. They loaded the bases again in the seventh inning, but again, they got only a single run, and they failed to hit the ball out of the infield in four bases-loaded at-bats.
The Dodgers were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position against the Braves. They left 10 men on base. Over their past nine games, the Dodgers are 5-for-49 (.102) in such situations.
Up next: Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 4.32 ERA) has as many losses through nine starts this season as he did in all of the past season. Still, he owns a 2.28 expected FIP, the best mark in the majors. He'll face Atlanta's Julio Teheran (4-1, 3.91), who is coming off a seven-inning, two-hit, eight-strikeout, one-run outing against the Milwaukee Brewers.