LOS ANGELES – The Seattle Mariners’ hopes of a fast start on their daunting nine-game road trip disappeared into the ether Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Or was that into the Ethier?
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier crashed three homers and drove in six runs as Los Angeles crushed the M’s, 8-2.
It was the first three-homer game of Ethier’s career, and the homers came off three Seattle pitchers. The first victim was starter Jason Vargas, the next came off reliever Roy Corcoran, and Ethier capped his night by smashing one into the Mariners’ bullpen in the eighth off Miguel Batista.
He is the 10th player in Los Angeles Dodgers history to hit at least three homers in a game (Shawn Green had a four-homer game).
The M’s were handcuffed by the Dodgers’ 21-year-old left-hander, Clayton Kershaw, who struck out eight in six innings, allowing five hits and two runs.
On this trip, which could determine if the Mariners are serious contenders, they face the Dodgers, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in nine games.
So far, so bad.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball.
The Mariners, meanwhile, are fighting to stay in the A.L. West race, and with the defeat they lost a game to both teams ahead of them, the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. Seattle fell 3 1/2 behind Texas and three behind the Angels.
Kershaw, who came into the game with 122/3 consecutive scoreless innings, looked for a while like he might add nine more zeroes to his ledger. Through the first three innings, he retired nine straight M’s, striking out five of them.
By that time, L.A. had already built a 3-0 lead on the strength of Ethier’s three-run homer in the second inning off Vargas.
Ichiro Suzuki added an infield single in the sixth to go 2 for 4 and raise his average to .371. That’s almost what he hit in 2004, when he set the major league hit record with 262 and won his second batting title.
Ichiro now has six consecutive multihit games.
Seattle designated catcher Jamie Burke for assignment to make room for Kenji Johjima, who returned from the disabled list.
Dodgers 8, Mariners 2
|Seattle||000||101||000 – 2||6||0|
|Los Angeles||030||112||01x – 8||14||0|
a-singled for Kershaw in the 6th. b-flied out for Mota in the 8th. LOB – Seattle 4, Los Angeles 6. 2B – Blake (18). 3B – Kemp (5). HR – Ethier (12), off Vargas; Blake (11), off Vargas; Ethier (13), off Corcoran; Ethier (14), off Batista. RBIs – Jo.Lopez 2 (44), Blake (48), Ethier 6 (49), Kershaw (1). SB – I.Suzuki (13). CS – Pierre (6). S – Furcal. RLSP – Seattle 2 (Johjima 2); Los Angeles 4 (Blake 2, Hudson 2). GIDP – Johjima, Ethier, Kershaw. DP – Seattle 2 (Vargas, Cedeno, Jo.Lopez), (Cedeno, Jo.Lopez, Branyan); Los Angeles 1 (Blake, Hudson, Loney).
|Vargas L, 3-3||4 2/3||9||5||5||1||2||78||3.79|
|Kershaw W, 5-5||6||5||2||2||1||8||96||3.70|
IR-S – Corcoran 2-0. HBP – by Corcoran (Martin). T – 2:39. A – 50,752 (56,000).