Walk this way: Dodgers beat Padres 8-5
At least not from him.
“We played a good game, guys had a lot of fun, (Hiroki) Kuroda pitched a good game,” a smiling Ethier repeated over and over to reporters, no matter the question asked.
Asked why he wouldn’t discuss his individual performance, he merely smiled and didn’t respond.
Ethier hadn’t talked to the media the last two days after his comments in a Los Angeles Times column Sunday implied that he didn’t want to finish out the season because of a sore right knee.
He went 3 for 4 to follow up his three-hit game Monday, giving him back-to-back three-hit games for the fourth time in his career. He is 8 for 15 on the homestand after going 0 for 14 on the Dodgers’ recent road trip.
“It’s hard to explain really when guys get hot,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Whatever it is, it’s working.”
Ethier’s offensive production has coincided with the Dodgers’ winning seven of their last eight.
“It doesn’t matter how bad he was missing because a ball is a ball,” he said.
The last-place Padres have dropped six in a row and lost six consecutive at Dodger Stadium.
Kuroda (11-14) allowed seven hits and four runs in six innings, struck out three and walked two to win his career-high fourth in a row. He tied his career high for wins set last season. The right-hander is 3-0 against the Padres this season.
Stauffer (8-11) imploded in his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander gave up one hit and seven runs in just 1 2-3 innings, walked a career-high seven and struck out two.
Stauffer did some walking of his own afterward, leaving the clubhouse before reporters were let in.
“I just think he had a rough game,” Padres manger Bud Black said. “He’s been one of the best pitchers in the National League. Tonight was extremely uncharacteristic. I’m sure he’s extremely upset with his performance, but he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he’ll turn the page on this.”
Stauffer’s walks set a club record for the most in an inning, eclipsing the five by Juan Eichelberger in the second inning against St. Louis on Aug. 29, 1981.
“He was trying to throw strikes. It just didn’t happen,” Black said.
There were 16 walks issued in the game, with the Dodgers having 12, their most since having 14 against Atlanta on April 21, 1999.
Ethier singled to lead off the outburst before Stauffer walked Aaron Miles(notes). He struck out A.J. Ellis(notes), then walked Jamey Carroll(notes) to load the bases for the first time. Kuroda walked to force in the Dodgers’ first run.
Justin Sellers’(notes) sacrifice fly made it 2-0. Stauffer allowed consecutive walks to James Loney(notes) and Matt Kemp, forcing in the third run. Juan Rivera(notes) walked to force in another run before Stauffer was pulled.
“I looked up and there were eight runs on three hits. You don’t see that too often,” Mattingly said. “He lost his groove or whatever. It wasn’t really typical of that club.”
It wasn’t a total walk in the park for the Dodgers.
Kuroda stumbled in the sixth, when the Padres scored four runs, including consecutive homers by Kyle Blanks(notes), who had a three-run shot, and former Dodger Orlando Hudson(notes). The Padres cut the margin to 8-5 in the seventh on Jesus Guzman’s(notes) RBI double off Matt Guerrier(notes).
“Since I had the run support, I should’ve pitched a lot better,” Kuroda said through a translator. “I was becoming too cautious. I didn’t want anymore men on base. I tried to hit the corners, but I made some mistake pitches.”
Notes: The last time the Dodgers scored eight runs in an inning was May 25, 2009, against Colorado in the seventh. … Kemp scored a run for the seventh consecutive game, the longest such streak on the Dodgers this season. … The Padres recalled OF Blake Tekotte(notes) from Double-A San Antonio and optioned RHP Erik Hamren(notes) to Triple-A Tucson. … Eight of Ethier’s 11 homers have been at Chavez Ravine. … Led by Hall of Famer Vin Scully, all eight of the Dodgers broadcasters will return in 2012. The team said Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin, Rick Monday, Fernando Valenzuela, Pepe Yniguez, Charley Steiner, Steve Lyons and Eric Collins will be back. The Dodgers recently surveyed season ticket holders about their broadcasters, asking fans to rate each of them on things like accuracy of calls, knowledge of baseball, and knowledge of the franchise. The results weren’t announced.