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Dodgers roll to fourth straight win

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- After a slow start to the season, the big-spending Los Angeles Dodgers are rolling.

A stop north of the border did nothing to cool them off, either.

The Dodgers pounded out 16 hits on their way to a 14-5 drubbing of the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday while winning their fourth consecutive contest in the first of a three-game set at Rogers Centre.

A.J. Ellis went 4-for-5 with a homer and a career-high five RBIs, while Skip Schumaker went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and his first home run of the season. Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis also had multi-hit games, helping the Dodgers (51-47) set season highs for runs scored and consecutive road wins with eight.

"RBIs are a product of guys getting on base in front of me, and I had three guys who I felt like were on base every time I came up," A.J. Ellis said. "Tonight was a great night for us because we got to see their entire bullpen. That should set us up well for the rest of the series; there won't be any surprises."

It was Los Angeles' 21st win in its last 26 games, and starter Hyun-Jin Ryu's second in his past three starts. Ryu (8-3) went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits, while walking two and striking out four.

A large contingent of Korean fans was among the 34,515 in attendance, supporting the Korean-born Ryu, who has gone at least five innings in all 19 of his starts this season.

"That was definitely more than I expected here in Toronto," Ryu said about the supportive crowd through a translator. "I was very appreciative of that; it was a big help for me."

The Blue Jays (45-53), who made a season-high five errors, dropped their fifth consecutive game and have lost 17 of their last 24 games since winning 11 games in a row.

Toronto starter Josh Johnson (1-6) lost his fourth straight start and failed to make it out of the third inning for the second time this season. Johnson allowed five runs on seven hits and his ERA now sits at 5.66.

"That was pitiful," said Johnson, who has one quality start over his last six outings. "That's the only way I can put it. I didn't even battle. Everything was right in the middle of the plate. That was a pretty poor performance."

The right-hander wasn't the only Blue Jays pitcher the Dodgers hit hard, as Los Angeles scored nine more runs off four relievers, including four off All-Star Steve Delabar.

Toronto had 13 hits, led by Mark DeRosa, who had his second three-hit game of the season. Melky Cabrera, Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion all had multi-hit games, too. Encarnacion recorded his fifth three-hit game of the season.

The Dodgers opened the scoring in the second inning, sending 10 batters to the plate as part of a four-run frame. A.J. Ellis hit a two-run homer, his fifth of the year, off Johnson before run-scoring singles from Crawford and Yasiel Puig put Los Angeles ahead, 4-0.

Ellis helped Los Angeles take a 5-0 lead in the third with an RBI single that cashed in Ethier, who led off the inning with a double.

"It wasn't a good game, we got whipped all the way around," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We were sloppy defensively. Today was just a crappy game, it really was."

Toronto got on the board in the bottom half of the frame, scoring a pair of runs on back-to-back RBI singles from Cabrera and DeRosa to make the score 5-2.

But the Dodgers quickly responded in the fourth, taking a 6-2 lead when Ethier grounded into a double play while a run scored. They broke open the game after that, scoring four more runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.

NOTES: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (left ankle sprain) was held out of Monday's series opener against the Blue Jays, and manager Don Mattingly said he could miss the entire three-game set in Toronto. Kemp was injured in Sunday's contest versus Washington and had X-rays Monday that came back negative. ... The three-game set in Toronto marks the fifth time the Blue Jays and Dodgers have met, and the first since 2007. ... Blue Jays RHP Dustin McGowan had a streak of 10 1/3 scoreless innings snapped in the sixth.
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