Dodgers Break Out -- For One Night

When reliever Matt Guerrier draws a bases-loaded walk, in his first at-bat in six years, you know it's a good night for the Dodgers. It was a welcome reprieve for an offense that hasn't enjoyed many of these games this year. They had 15 hits and four walks en route to a 10-3 win over the Pirates.

"It's been tough. We're grinding it out," said Aaron Miles, who had three hits and two RBI. "We're trying to scratch runs out. The good thing is we're getting good pitching, so we're in every game. They're all close games. It's not like the other teams are scoring a bunch of runs off us.

"Finally, we broke out a bit, and I think it's big step for our team. It shows we can score runs, and hopefully there's more to come."

It was the most runs the Dodgers have scored since they broke out for 12 against the Cubs on April 22. Every starting position player scored at least one run. And all this occurred after five scoreless innings in which they were just one batter over the minimum.

The Dodgers went into the season concerned about their lack of hitter with high on-base percentages. That actually hasn't been as big a concern as feared.

Coming into the game, they were 14th in the league in walks but sixth in batting average and seventh in on-base percentage. This was the fourth time in five games they've had 10 or more hits in a game, and the other game was eight hits.

It's the lack of extra-base hits that's been most troubling.

Matt Kemp's home run in the sixth inning -- the biggest hit because it went from 1-0 to 4-0 -- was just the second three-run shot by the Dodgers this year. They've hit no grand slams. They are 13th in doubles and 12th in home runs, which leads to 12th in slugging percentage.

Coming into the game, the Dodgers had 38 hits on the road trip and just four extra-base hits. Even in this game, only two of the 15 hits were for extra bases. Besides the homer by Kemp, the other extra-base hit was a double by Rod Barajas.

But those are concerns for another day.

--Last night, the Dodgers used the same lineup in back-to-back games for just the third time this season. In all, the club has used 30 different lineup combinations in 2011 after 36 games. Last season, Los Angeles used 127 different lineups.

--RF Andre Ethier's streak of reaching base in consecutive games is at 34 games after an RBI single in the sixth inning. The reaching-base streak doesn't have the same pizzazz as the hitting streak. Nonetheless, Ethier's 34 straight is tied for 23rd best in Dodgers history. The best is Duke Snider's 58 in 1954, followed by Shawn Green's 53 in 2000 and Ron Cey's 47 in 1975.

Dodger right fielder Andre Ethier went 1-for-4 last night and has now reached base safely in 33 straight games, which is the longest active streak in the Major Leagues, well ahead of Placido Polanco's 26-game streak. Ethier still has a long way to go to catch Hall of Famer Duke Snider, who reached base safely in 58 straight games back in 1954. Here are top 10 longest streaks in Dodger history since 1919:  

Longest streaks of reaching base safely via a walk, hit or HBP since 1919, Dodger franchise  

games - Player                Dates                                  
58 - Duke Snider  	May 13-July 11, 1954                
53 - Shawn Green  	April 25-June 23, 2000           
47 - Ron Cey         	Sept. 9, 1975-May 12, 1976     
44 - Len Koenecke  	May 10-July 11, 1934                
44 - Zach Wheat 	Sept. 6, 1919-May 22, 1920   
43 - Augie Galen      	June 14-July 24, 1945               
41 - Eric Karros  	Aug. 10, 1994-June 6, 1995      
40 - Babe Herman        April 28-June 19, 1926              
39 - Steve Sax          Aug. 30, 1986-April 10, 1987   
39 - Billy Grabarkewitz June 14-July 30, 1070                
39 - Duke Snider    	Aug. 6-Sept. 13, 1953                 
39 - Jim Gilliam  	July 19-Aug. 26, 1953                
39 - Jeff Kent          June 8-Aug. 7, 2007            
  Source: Dodgers Publicity
--Through the first five games of this trip, Carroll is 11-for-21 with three walks and four runs scored. Miles is 8-for-23 with four RBIs and two runs scored. And over the past three games, since manager Don Mattingly has settled on Carroll and Miles batting first and second, respectively, rather than alternating them into the leadoff and eighth spots, they are a combined 14-for-28.

--3B Casey Blake shed the brace and extensive wrapping on his left elbow following surgery from a staph infection. He played catch Tuesday, his first baseball activity since the injury. Blake must be careful not to get the area dirty or sweaty until the remaining stitches are removed. He'll gradually increase baseball activities.

--LHP Ted Lilly struck out the 1,500th batter of his career in the first inning. The baseball remained in play. The next batter hit a flyball to right fielder Andre Ethier, who caught the ball and threw it into the stands. The fan who grabbed the ball was a Dodgers fan from Los Angeles and traded the Lilly milestone baseball for an autographed Rafael Furcal ball.

--RHP Chad Billingsley produced two of the Dodgers' 10 hits on Monday, including a double that was the team's only extra-base hit. The last time a Dodgers pitcher had the team's only extra-base hit was Aug. 7, 2007, when Mark Hendrickson doubled at Cincinnati.

--RHP Blake Hawksworth departed Tuesday's game because of a strained right groin. Hawksworth started moving to first base on a grounder to the right side and put on the brakes quickly when he felt the pain. Hawksworth attempted a couple of warmup pitches but quickly shook his head no and exited the game. Groin injuries don't usually heal after 1-2 days, but it's too early to tell how serious the injury is, and Hawksworth is listed as day-to-day. Hawksworth has been one of the Dodgers' most reliable relievers in an otherwise-shaky bullpen, posting a 3.12 ERA in 14 appearances this season after the Dodgers acquired him from the Cardinals last Nov. 30 for infielder Ryan Theriot.

--LHP Hong-Chih Kuo gave up doubles Monday to the only two batters he faced. He has retired just seven of the 14 batters he has faced since coming off the disabled list. Manager Don Mattingly said the team doesn't have any medical concerns with Kuo, but it could be mechanics.

--Dodger first baseman James Loney went 1-for-4 last night and is currently in the midst of a six-game hitting streak in which he is batting .348 (8-for-23) with two walks. Loney has raised his average from .204 to .227 over that time. Sunday, the Dodgers will give away James Loney batting practice jerseys to the first 15,000 kids ages 14 and under as the Dodgers battle the Diamondbacks.

--Chad Billingsley went 2-for-2 with a double, collecting the Dodger pitching staff's first extra-base hit of the season and boosting his average to .233. Billingsley's multi-hit game was the second by a Dodger hurler this season, following Clayton Kershaw's 2-for-3 night against Atlanta on April 21. Billingsley has won the "Old Slugger Award" presented to the best-hitting Dodgers pitcher, over the last two seasons.  

Dodgers to Celebrate Ethier's Streak
The Dodgers announced today that in celebration of right fielder Andre Ethier's 30-game hitting streak, the club will offer fans $30 Field level seats during a 30-hour sale that starts today at 4 p.m. PST and concludes tomorrow at 10 p.m. PST.  The $30 Field level seats for the game versus Milwaukee on May 16 at 7:10 p.m., in honor of his uniform number 16, are discounted up to 75 percent.  

Ethier became the second player in franchise history to have a 30-game hitting streak joining Willie Davis, whose 31-game hitting streak is a franchise record. Ethier batted .397 (46-for-116) during the streak, which began back on April 2. His 26-game hitting streak established a Major League record for the longest hitting streak during the month of April, having passed Joe Torre's 22-game streak from April 1971.

-- Singles by Jamey Carroll in Tuesday's game. It's also the number of times he's had three or more hits, out of five games, on this road trip. Carroll's batting average is up to .320, and with another walk as well Tuesday, his on-base percentage is .383.

"You talk about punch and driving in runs. If our lineup is different, you got Casey (Blake), you're willing to have another pinger. We're playing with 3-4 pingers, a guy who gets his hits and plays a small-ball game. There's places for that -- (if) you're on turf and the guys can fly. We've talked with Tony (Gwynn Jr.) and he's frustrated. But with our lineup the way it is, we've got to score runs and we need the punch, and that's hurting him a little bit." -- Manager Don Mattingly, on the lack of playing time for Tony Gwynn, Jr.

--RHP Blake Hawksworth (strained right groin) was injured May 10 as he moved to cover first base. He's day-to-day.

--RHP Jonathan Broxton (bone bruise on right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4. He is expected to be out until mid-June.

--OF Marcus Thames (strained right quad) went on the 15-day disabled list May 3.

--3B Casey Blake (staph infection in left elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 25. He's expected to be out until June. He began baseball activities May 10.

--SS Rafael Furcal (broken left thumb) went on the 15-day disabled list April 12. He took batting practice on May 7 and was expected to start a minor league rehab assignment the second week of May.

--C Hector Gimenez (sore right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 9. He had arthroscopic surgery April 26, and he is expected to be out until at least mid-May.