Ethier's Walkoff Single Beats Phillies 4-3

In the crowded Dodgers' outfield, Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez have established themselves as regulars. Andre Ethier may have jammed his foot in the door last night, coming in to the game late, he lined a single to left field that drove in Russell Martin winning run in the ninth inning for an improbably 4-3 win over the Eastern Division-leading Phillies.

Ethier was the opening-day left fielder and played both left and right on a steady basis before Ramirez dropped into the Dodgers' lap at the July 31 trade deadline. Ethier had started only five of 11 games since.

"Guys like Manny have that experience and have been in situations in tough games. So it's something you have to earn," he told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com,

"I can't sit back and complain and say I should be in there. But when they ask you to do something, whether it be start that day or come off the bench and play defense or get a key hit, it's a good feeling."

After the Dodgers blew a pair of sure wins to the hapless Giants on the final games of their last road-trip, some thought the losses would weigh heavily on their minds as they opened the crucial 10-day homestand but that doesn't seem to be the case after they won the first two from the Phillies.

"Good teams don't live in the past," Martin said after scoring from second base on Andre Ethier's winning single. Martin has been locked in a slump for over a week, perhaps because of the extensive wear and tear of playing every day, and was hit on the foot by a pitch in the ninth, moved to second on James Loney's ground ball and scored the winning run.

After watching this Dodgers team, one might forget how inexperienced many of them are. But they seem to be very resilient, taking their lumps, learning from them and bouncing back.

Clayton Kershaw is a classic example. Just a bit over two-years out of high school, he was hit hard in the first three innings, allowing four hits and three runs before retiring nine of the next 11 Phillies, working around a double and a walk in the sixth before leaving after an even 100 pitches trailing 3-1.

The Dodgers had scored once in the first inning when Chase Utley tagged Kershaw for his 30th home run. In the bottom of the inning, Matt Kemp doubled and moved to third on an outfield error on left fielder Pat Burrell, snapping a 122-game errorless streak.

With two out, the Phillies chose to work around Manny Ramirez and his .460+ batting average but Casey Blake's RBI single tied the game. Blake had a game-tieing sac fly in the eighth and has quietly knocked in nine runs in his last 10 games.

The Phillies young Cole Hamels then retired 12 straight Dodgers and took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning.

Los Angeles managed to run seven batters up to the plate, boosting Hamels' pitch count, and finally grinding out a run.

Pierre opened the inning with a bunt single and Kemp singled to left. With one out and no place to put Ramirez, the Dodgers' new sensation singled to left, cutting the Phillies lead to 3-2.

Ramirez hit came on a 3-2 pitch after he had to duck a pair of inside fastballs by a pitcher who has not hit a batter all season. He was hit by a pitch in the eighth that helped set up the tying run.

Joe Beimel worked a 1-2-3 seventh and Hong Chih Kuo followed with another in the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, with Hamels out of action after throwing 111 pitches, Kemp rapped out his third hit of the game and Jeff Kent walked with Pedro Ozuna running for him.

Ramirez was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Blake's long drive to center scored Kemp with the tying run. Garciaparra, in his first game back from another stretch on the disabled list, bounced into a double play to end the inning.

Kuo worked around a walk in the top of the ninth to set the stage for Ethier's heroics.

Kershaw, learning a little modre each start, righted himself in his final three innings and kept the Dodgers in the game but finished with a quality start and no decision. The 20-year-old left-hander had eight strikeouts, his highest total in 13 big league starts. "I was making mistakes early, but after the first three innings, my curveball improved and that made the difference," he said.

Beimel and Kuo (4-2) were near-perfect out of the bullpen and gave the team the chance to pull the game out of the fire. Kuo lowered his ERA to 1.70. Both Jonathan Broxton and Cory Wade unavailable.

Matchups for the final two games of the Philadelphia series:
Tonight RHP Joe Blanton (1-0, 3.27) vs. RHP Brad Penny (6-9, 5.66)
Thursday RHP Brett Myers (4-9, 5.34) vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-8, 4.02)

Penny returned from seven weeks on the disabled list, rarely hitting 90 mph with his fastball. However, he limited the Giants to only one hit in five innings and snapped a seven-game losing streak with his first win since May 2.

Blanton pitched seven one hit innings in his last start. In four games with the Phils, he has just one win, but he has compiled a solid 3.27 ERA and has held batters to just a .205 average. Manny Ramirez is hitting .619 (13-for-21) with six RBIs in his career against Blanton.

Philadelphia	111 000 000-3
Los Angeles	100 001 011-4

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre cf	4  1  1  0  .279
 Kuo p	        0  0  0  0  .273
Kemp rf-cf	4  2  3  0  .302
Kent 2b	        3  0  0  0  .266
 Ozuna pr-2b	0  0  0  0  .200
Ramirez lf	2  0  1  1  .476
Blake 3b	3  0  1  2  .297
Garciaparra ss	3  0  0  0  .270
Martin c	4  1  0  0  .274
Loney 1b	4  0  0  0  .296
Kershaw p	2  0  0  0  .000
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Ethier ph-lf	2  0  1  1  .275
  Totals	30 4 7 4
  Philadelphia	31 3 6 3

 2b hits- Kemp (29). SF- Blake. RBI-Blake
2 (9), Ramirez (14), Ethier (48). LOB- Los
Angeles 7, Philadelphia 6.

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Kershaw	        6.0  6  3-3  2  8  3.78
Beimel	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  1.87
Kuo (4-2)       2.0  0  0-0  1  2  1.70
 HBP- Ramirez, Garciaparra. T- 2:44
Att- 47.586.

Jones to Rehab in Minors
Andruw Jones was placed on the disabled list to make room for Nomar Garciaparra and that cleared him for a rehab stint with Las Vegas and the hope that a stretch of minor league games might help him regain the swing that once produced 51 home runs.

Both Torre and GM Ned Colletti feel that Jones rushed himself back into the Dodgers' lineup when Juan Pierre was injured and would have benefitted from longer rehab action with Las Vegas.

The Dodgers asked him repeatedly if he thought he was ready to return and he replied in the affirmative.

Colletti said, "You never want to dampen somebody's enthusiasm to try to help the club. This was Jones' idea. He rushed back and wanted to help the club. In hindsight, yeah, you wish we could have taken the proper amount of time and gotten him healed. But it's tough for me to be critical of a guy who wants to help the club."

Nice Win for Joe
The victory was Torre's 2,127th in the regular season, breaking a tie with Joe McCarthy for seventh place on the career list.

"I've never gotten caught up in stuff like this because I figure the time to do this is when I'm not doing this anymore," Torre said. "But the thing that impresses me -- aside from the overall number of wins -- is that when you start getting mentioned in the same breath as McCarthy, Casey Stengel, Ralph Houk, Miller Huggins and guys like that, then it becomes something that gets your attention. Joe McCarthy has a pretty good track record, so this win certainly will be a memorable one for more reasons than one."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Los Angeles had lost five straight one-run games before last night's victory. The team is 16-17 overall in one-run affairs. ...Matt Kemp has recorded three straight three-hit games and has nine hits in 13 at-bats during that time. ...Last night was the first time Dodger Stadium concession stands were selling blue "MANNYWOOD" T-shirts, which had Ramirez's No. 99 on it next to a silhouette of his head, complete with dreadlocks and reflecting sunglasses — no facial features. The Dodger caps with the facsimile dreadlocks are scheduled to arrive on Thursday. ...Injured closer Takashi Saito (right elbow) "felt fine" after throwing 50 feet on Monday off flat ground. ...Los Angeles has won four straight games and six of eight against Philadelphia, going back to the start of last season. ...The Los Angeles RBI team won the RBI (Renewing Baseball in Innercities) World Series Senior division championship over Detroit by a score of 5-2, yesterday. The L.A. squad, which wears "Dodgers" across their chest, won an unprecedented seventh championship and brought home the fifth title in the last seven years. Los Angeles RBI was founded in 1989. ...Joe Beimel was immortalized in ceramic with a bobblehead giveaway before the game. The left-hander has gone 83 consecutive appearances since giving up a home run (57.1 innings), which is the longest active streak in the Majors. Last year, Jonathan Broxton set the Los Angeles Dodger record by pitching in 94 consecutive games without allowing a home run. ...Dodger second baseman Jeff Kent is scorching hot since being moved into the No. 3 spot in the batting order. Dodger manager Joe Torre made the switch on August 7 and since then Kent is batting .429 (9-for-21) with a homer, six RBI, and a .571 on-base percentage in five games while raising his average from .256 to .268. The future Hall of Famer hit career double No. 558, leaving him two shy of former Dodger coach and player Eddie Murray for 20th place on the all-time doubles list. ...Matt Kemp registered his 10th and 11th outfield assists Saturday night and is tied for the lead in the NL in that category with Philadelphia's Pat Burrell. ...Best wishes go to Dodger minor leaguers Terry Tiffee and Mike Koplove, who will begin their quest for Olympic gold at Wukesong Stadium tomorrow night against Korea. Both Tiffee and Koplove accompanied the Dodgers on their trip to China in March and are familiar with the city and field. The last time the United States played in the Olympics was in 2000, when Tommy Lasorda led the squad to their first and only gold medal since the baseball became a medal sport in 1992.

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