Ethier's Streak Hits 27 Games

It takes luck to keep a hitting streak alive. Andre Ethier has enjoyed some luck, along with the benefits of hard work, as his hitting streak reached 27 games on Sunday afternoon. Ethier singled off the glove of a diving first baseman Brad Hawpe in the seventh inning, likely his penultimate at-bat in the game. Official scorer Don Hartack looked at a replay, before quickly ruling it a hit.

That was the seventh infield single for Ethier during this 27-game hitting streak. For perspective, Ethier had nine infield singles all of 2010.

It was a rare moment of drama during the hitting streak. Twenty of the 27 times, Ethier got the hit in his first or second at-bat. The only time it went all the way to the ninth inning was April 17, when he doubled off tough lefty Trever Miller.

Ethier is four away from tying Willie Davis' franchise record hitting streak, done from Aug. 1-Sept. 3, 1969.

"I'm enjoying every moment of it," Ethier said. "In the past, sometimes I've had a tendency to grind things out, even when I'm going good, to put more pressure and add more urgency on myself. Not taking a step back and enjoying it."

Ethier's hitting streak was just about the only highlight in a blah 3-0 loss to the Padres. Jon Garland gave up all the runs in the second inning. The Dodgers were held to five hits by Dustin Moseley (seven innings) and two relievers.

Next up for Ethier is Cubs lefty James Russell. He's only faced him once and was retired in that at-bat.  

Dodgers, Longest Hit Streaks in April – since 1958 (streak cannot span seasons)  

year		player			
27 - Andre Ethier, 2011
20 - Steve Garvey, 1978
17 - Ron Cey, 1977
14 - Mike Piazza, 1996
14 - Cesar Izturs, 2004
14 - James Loney, 2008
14 - Matt Kemp, 2009

The LA Dodgers who have
Hit in 20+ Consecutive games

 Los Angeles Records			 
gm   name, year	         		                  
31 - Willie Davis, 1969					
27 - Andre Ethier. 2011			
25 - Willie Davis, 1971						
25 - Steve Steve, 1986					
25 - Paul Lo Duca, 2003	
				
24 - John Shelby, 1988					 
23 - Brett Butler, 1991 			 	
22 - Nomar Garciaparra, 2006				
21 - Steve Garvey, 1978	
			
20 - Tom Davis, 1960					
20 - Tom Davis, 1964					  
20 - Maury Wills, 1965				  	
20 - Steve Garvey, 1978				
*21 - Jack Robinson, 1947 (Brooklyn) 	
	   *=Rookie Record
	
NOTES, QUOTES
--LHP Hong-Chih Kuo was activated from the disabled list Sunday. In his third rehab outing Friday, Kuo struck out two batters in a scoreless inning, and felt so good afterward that a fourth rehab outing was shelved. Kuo didn't look good in his first game back Sunday, retiring just one of the five batters he faced.

--RHP Kenley Jansen was optioned to Class AA Chattanooga (Tenn.) to make room for Hong-Chih Kuo. Jansen's ERA was 7.42 for the season, but he was pitching his best recently. He'd struck out nine batters in his last 4 2/3 innings, without allowing a run. The simple reason for the demotion is Jansen is the only reliever with minor-league options remaining. Also, the Dodgers want Jansen to develop a more consistent slider or changeup to complement his mid-90s fastball.

--RHP Jon Garland became the second Dodgers pitcher this week to allow all of his hits in one inning. Garland allowed three hits (and three runs) in the second inning, around no hits (three walks) in five other scoreless innings. Chad Billingsley allowed all five of his hits (and four runs) in the second inning Wednesday in Florida.

--LF Jerry Sands and RF Andre Ethier picked up their third assists of the season Saturday, giving the team 11 outfield assists. That's tied with the Royals for the most in the majors.

--INF Aaron Miles, who had to win a roster spot during spring training, started Sunday for the 16th time in 29 games this year, an example of the massive injuries to the Dodgers infield. A year ago, Miles started just 22 games for the Cardinals.

--OF Jay Gibbons has a nine-game hitting streak at Class AAA Albuquerque, going back to the most recent time he got a new pair of contacts for better vision. Gibbons has three multi-hit games and a home run during that stretch. He's halfway through his 20-day rehab, so the Dodgers will have to make a decision soon on when to activate Gibbons from the disabled list, and what the corresponding roster move will be.

BY THE NUMBERS: 149
-- Games lost to the disabled list by Dodgers players in March/April. Eight different players were on the DL, including Casey Blake twice. That number figures to remain the same in May, since Blake and Rafael Furcal aren't expected back until the end of the month and Hector Gimenez is rehabbing knee surgery.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"It's just hard. You don't want to be down there. You want to be up there and just help the team win, but it is what it is. I'm going down there and work my butt off and come back here better than I left here." -- RHP Kenley Jansen, on getting sent to the minors Sunday to make room for Hong-Chih Kuo.

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