Ethier, Kemp and Dodgers Slam Giants 10-8

The Dodgers did so well wearing Jackie Robinson's No. 42 that the did it again Friday, with the same results -- a 10-8 win over the first place Giants. Andre Ethier set the tone of the game with a home run in the first and a grand slam home run in the second. Matt Kemp banged a two-run homer in the first and Vicente Padilla didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning and collected the win.

Most Dodger fans, had they heard the score was 7-0 after two innings, would have said, "They need to get Padilla out of the starting rotation. But that was not the case. Padilla, who was battered in his first two starts worked seven innings and allowed only four hits and three runs. He held the Giants hitless until the fifth inning, struck out seven and walked two.

The Dodgers' 10 run evening gives them 69 over the first 10 games, only one short of the record of 69 set in 2006.

The Dodgers two big guns were firing from the opening bell. Matt Kemp slammed a shot into the right-field seats with Rafael Furcal on base with a walk before many of the customers had settled into their seats. Andre Ethier followed with an even longer home run into about the same vicinity.

In the second, Ethier drove his first career grand slam over the center field wall and suddenly the Dodgers were up 7-0. Ethier's five RBI left him one shy of his career high of six set on June 26, 2009 vs. Seattle. He continued his hot hitting at home and has hit safely in each of the Dodgers' four home games, batting .429 (9-for-21) with three homers and nine RBI. Overall he is hitting .387 with three homers, 12 RBIs and a .710 slugging percentage.

Kemp's home run ran his streak to four-consecutive games for the second time in his career and became the first player in Los Angeles history to homer in each of his first four scheduled home games of the season. Kemp had previously slugged home runs in four-straight games from August 29-September 1, 2009. In addition, he has hit safely in his last six games, batting .370 (10-for-27) in that stretch and overall is hitting .333 with team highs in homers (five), RBIs (15) and a .756 slugging percentage. He didn't hit his fifth homer last year until May 29.

The only other L.A. Dodgers player to homer in his first four home games was Willie Crawford, who played in four of the first five at Chavez Ravine in 1972.

Padilla, who was KO'ed in the fifth inning of his first two starts of the season, and who had allowed 11 runs over those 8.2 innings, retired 12 of the first 13 San Francisco batters he faced with only a second inning walk marring the streak.

He allowed three singles and a pair of runs in the fifth, then a leadoff home run on Pablo Sandoval in the sixth. He then added two more hitless innings and left after seven with a 10-3 lead.

Russ Ortiz took over and set the Giants down 1-2-3 in the eighth, them was torched for three hits in the ninth, walking the sixth batter he faced and leaving two on base. Ramon Troncoso came in and threw a home run ball to Eugenio Velez before retiring the side.

Padilla hit Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand on the bill of his helmet in the fifth. After several minutes on his knees by home plate, Rowand walked off the field without help, accompanied by San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy and a trainer. He sustained two small fractures in his left cheekbone and mild concussion.

Rowand has been hit by a pitch 88 times since the start of the 2005 season, and 111 times during his 10-year career.

Padilla said he wanted to come inside to Rowand but the pitch got away. He denied that it was retaliation for when Kemp took a pitch under the chin by Giants starter Todd Wellemeyer. Kemp walked and on the next pitch Ethier recorded his slam.

Giants outfielder Aubry Huff said, "I've hit Padilla pretty well, but tonight he was a different guy. He just painting the corner away away. He went away on everybody—and just when you think you're going to get him, he busts you inside. When he's on, he's really tough. And he was on tonight."

Clutch Award to Ethier
Andre Ethier was presented with the 2009 award for MLB Clutch Performer of the Year, Presented by Pepsi. Ethier, who last year collected a Major League-leading six walk-off hits, including a modern Major League record-tying four walk-off homers, was given the Tiffany trophy by hitting coach Don Mattingly during a pregame ceremony.    

Dodger Blue Notes --The Giants, one of six teams that had the day off Thursday, the 63rd anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game in the big leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers, wore jersey's with No. 42 the back. The Dodgers also wore Robinson's number—for the second straight night. ...Last year the Dodgers were 11-7 against the Giants, including 6-3 at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles has not had a losing record in a season series with San Francisco since going 9-10 in 2005. ...Manny Ramirez left the game in the top of the fourth inning with tightness in his right calf. Ramirez said after the game he was fine, and manager Joe Torre said Ramirez might start Saturday's day game. ...Ronald Belisario threw 25 pitches and in 2.0 innings in an Extended Spring Training game in Arizona. Joe Torre announced during pregame that Hong-Chih Kuo is next expected to pitch in a rehab assignment on Sunday after the lefty needed 12 pitches to strike out two and retire the side in order last night at Single-A Inland Empire. ...General Manager Ned Colletti celebrated his 56th birthday. The Chicago native became the 10th GM in Dodger history on November 16, 2005 and was formerly the assistant GM of tonight's opponent, the San Francisco Giants.  

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