Ethier rushes to 30, but Dodgers tackled in end zone

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Jerry Sands can't reach Jose Reyes' second triple, leaving Matt Kemp to retrieve.The number 30 will always belong to Lawrence McCutcheon as far as I'm concerned, but tonight it will be shared with Andre Ethier, who extended his hitting streak with his very first swing tonight against the Mets.

Frank Franklin II/AP

Hiroki Kuroda reacts to David Pridie's home run.

If only we could stop there ... but instead, there's the matter of Hiroki Kuroda thrice being unable to hold a one-run lead, ultimately giving up a three-run homer to Jason Pridie in the bottom of the sixth inning of the Dodgers' 6-3 defeat.

From the start, it was a high-wire act for Kuroda, who gave up a leadoff triple to Jose Reyes. Kuroda, known as a groundball pitcher, had only two groundouts in the first three innings, while surrendering the triple and then a sacrifice fly in the first inning and a home run by Ike Davis in the second inning. He settled down mid-start and looked like he might cruise, surviving Reyes' second triple of the night beyond a diving Jerry Sands and taking a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth.

Then the Mets suddenly lowered the boom: one-out double by Carlos Beltran, two-out intentional walk to Davis and 27-year-old rookie Pridie's shot to right.

After a double by Josh Thole, the Mets' sixth extra-base hit, Kuroda was lifted. New York tacked on an insurance run off Blake Hawksworth in the seventh inning, while the Dodgers didn't get a runner past second base for the remainder of the game.

Ethier notched three hits for the fifth time this season – but the Dodgers are 2-3 in those games. Rod Barajas homered and singled, but struck out to end the Dodgers' last good threat, a two-on, two-out situation in the seventh inning.

The Dodgers fall to 15-18, fourth place in the National League West, with San Diego two games back and leading 2-0 in the third inning against Arizona.

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Ethier became the 45th player in major-league history to record a single-season hitting streak of at least 30 games and can tie Willie Davis' Dodger hitting streak record Saturday. Ethier talked to Tony Jackson's of ESPNLosAngeles.com about his sore elbow ... and was more diplomatic than I would have been in response to critical comments from former Dodger coach Larry Bowa.

... "An inflamed elbow, if that's what it is, I'm one of those guys that you've got to play through that, especially if you play in the outfield," Bowa said on SiriusXM Radio Thursday. "If you were an infielder, you'd have to throw with that arm, and that's another thing. But how many plays does an outfielder get? To me, unless it was really, really bad, I'm going to play him."

Ethier had started every game this season until being scratched from the lineup about a half-hour before game time after taking a few swings in the indoor batting cage. He was available to pinch hit, but was never called upon to do so. After the game, Ethier said the problem bothered him more throwing than hitting.

Bowa, who added that he was "shocked" Ethier wasn't in the lineup, said Ethier should have played not because of the hitting streak but because the Dodgers are struggling and he is one of the hottest and most dangerous hitters. He said he was hurting the team by sitting.

"That is his job, to put stuff out on that show that he's on," Ethier said of Bowa's comments. "I'm not big on commenting on other people's comments. ... I have buddies at home saying the same stuff. I got text messages the other day saying, 'What's going on, why aren't you playing,' guys giving me a hard time."